Due to terrorist alerts announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Water Quality & Health Council has offered tips for storing water to help families and individuals prepare for emergency situations. Among other things, home water storage is important in preparing for natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and ice storms. ?

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) is accepting applications for the Paul L. Busch Award, which carries a $100,000 research grant. Applications must be postmarked by June 1. For more information, email WERF at werf@werf.org or see www.werf.org ?

Multi-Pure Drinking Water Systems, of Las Vegas, said its Plus-As models, which use solid carbon block filters, was the first commercially available filters to be tested to demonstrate effective removal of Arsenic V under NSF International’s recently adopted ANSI/NSF Standard 53. ?

As reported in the March 3 edition of The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) introduced legislation requiring the USEPA to set a standard for perchlorate in drinking water by July 1, 2004, or at least two years before the USEPA’s current timetable would allow. ?

Las Vegas-based American Water Star added 15 new distributors in March to carry its full line of beverages. The additional distributors will market the Geyser Fruit & Geyser Fruta beverages, Hawaiian Tropic beverages, Power Punch and purified water under the H2O brand. ?

Sorbent Products Co., of Somerset, N.J., acquired National Sorbents Inc., of Cincinnati, in March. Sorbent Products is a producer of meltblown polypropylene sorbents. ?

Water claims accounted for 32 percent of all home insurance claims in 2001, the April issue of Money magazine reported. In Texas, insurers paid out $850 million for mold-related damage in 2001. In Florida, meanwhile, an insurer just struck a deal with regulators to cap mold payouts at $10,000 per incident with a $20,000 maximum policy. ?

HRO Systems, of Gardena, Calif., announced the launch of its revised website, www.hrosystems.com. It now features comprehensive listings of its entire product line; downloadable, full-color versions of its brochures; company news, and boat show schedule. ?

On March 11, the WateReuse Association launched the first issue of Water Reuse News—an electronic newsletter focusing on the latest information, reports and happenings in water reuse. Past issues of the newsletter will be archived on the association’s website at www.watereuse.org. ?

The World Health Organization introduced its latest publication—The Right to Water. According to WHO’s website, www.who.int, the publication “outlines the scope and content of the legal definition of the human right to water…” ?


State sets PHG on arsenic
On March 7, the California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released its draft public health goal (PHG) for arsenic that proposed at 4 parts per trillion (ppt). It’s set (technically, “prepared and published”) based exclusively on public health considerations without any weight given to practical factors such as laboratory capability to analyze, availability of effective treatment systems, or costs to address. The Drinking Water Division of the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) is charged with establishing a legally enforceable maximum contaminant level (MCL) that’s as close to the PHG as is “technologically and economically” feasible. Even though California is required to adopt an MCL at least as stringent as the USEPA’s 10 ppb MCL by 2006, the California legislature passed a law that requires the state MCL be adopted by July 1, 2004. It’s not expected that utilities will be required to come into compliance with the new California MCL earlier than the federal regulation. Under California law, the PHG is somewhat parallel to the USEPA’s maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG); however, for carcinogens such as arsenic, the USEPA is required to set the MCLG at zero. The OEHHA’s PHG for arsenic was based on a theoretical risk of cancer based on epidemiological studies from China, Argentina and Chile. The CDHS is in the process of completing a series of stakeholders’ meetings getting input from the public on the arsenic standard setting.

Author keys on public water
Writing in the June 2002 issue of Dairy, Food, and Environmental Sanitation, Susan McKnight reports that although the role water quality plays in food safety has been seriously underestimated in the past, it’s emerging as a critical public health issue. The vice president of Quality Flow Inc., of Northbrook, Ill., cited statistics that show 17 waterborne disease outbreaks in 1997-98 were traced to public water supplies in 13 states. She was appointed as chair of a professional development group on “Water Quality and Safety” for the International Association of Food Protection.

Hague takes to the seas
More than 250 people were hosted by Hague Quality Water International, of Groveport, Ohio, on a four-day convention cruise originating in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and traveling as far as Cozumel, Mexico. Hague dealers throughout the United States and Canada, and distributors from Europe attended the event that featured sales and service seminars and an informal awards ceremony. Charles Tackett, Hague’s national training director for over 40 years, was honored with its Golden Eagle Award for lifetime achievement.

Pentair buys pool outfit
Pentair, of St. Paul, Minn., acquired the assets of privately-held Letro Products Inc., of Redding, Calif. Letro Products designs and manufactures swimming pool accessories including pool cleaners, skimmer lids, skimmer thermometers, automatic water fillers, flow meters and replacement parts. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. Letro Products holds the second-largest share of the pressure-side, swimming pool cleaner category in North America. The company, which recorded 2002 sales of approximately $8 million, employs 80 people.

AdEdge names distributors
AdEdge Technologies, of Atlanta, a company specializing in arsenic removal solutions, announced the formation of distribution partnerships including a number of key distributors across North America. They include United Pipe & Supply, of Lynnwood, Wash.; Duff Company, of Philadelphia; Atlantic Purification Systems of Nova Scotia, Canada; Artesian Inc., of Burton, Mich.; Nelsen Corp., of Norton, Ohio; Precision Installed Products, of Foothill Ranch, Calif., and Howard Gilliam Sales, of Ft. Wayne, Ind.

Mich. hands out free tests
The Michigan departments of Environmental Quality and Community Health, along with local health departments across the state, have teamed up to conduct free testing for arsenic. They will also notify residents of the level of arsenic in their well, discuss public health concerns, provide educational materials about arsenic contamination, and suggest ways to reduce arsenic levels. Through their local health department, Michigan residents are eligible to receive free arsenic test kits. The only cost to the resident is about $3 in postage to send the sample to the laboratory. The state legislature extended funding authorization for the free arsenic-testing program through Sept. 30, 2003.

Product kills Norwalk?
San Jose, Calif.-based EnviroSys-tems Inc. said two internationally recognized independent laboratories have performed testing of the company’s non-toxic, non-corrosive commercial disinfectant products. The revolutionary disinfectant cleaners achieved a kill as high as 99.99 percent of a Norwalk virus simulant. The Norwalk virus causes intestinal discomfort and illness in humans such as outbreaks, which occurred recently on several major cruise ship lines. The virus is known to be exceptionally resistant to commercial disinfectants. Some of the product’s customers include JetBlue Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Scotia Prince Cruises, the Stanford University Medical Center and the U.S. Navy. The company is currently targeting organizations such as WalMart, the U.S. Postal Service and the Red Cross.

Calgon targets perchlorate
Calgon Carbon Corp., of Pittsburgh, was awarded a contract from the West San Bernardino County Water District in California for the purchase of a modular ion exchange system. The system will be used for the removal of perchlorate in the county’s well water. The contract, valued at approximately $2 million, also includes a three-year service agreement. The project will treat 2.8 million gallons per day of water for the water district’s customers.

State sets meeting dates
The Missouri DNR’s Public Drinking Water Program is holding stakeholder meetings statewide to discuss bacteriological holding times, safe drinkingwater.com reported, with an increased emphasis on getting bacteriological samples analyzed within 30 hours. The reason behind the shorter holding times is concern that coliforms die off over time, therefore, potentially giving false negative results. In effect, sample results may indicate a sample is negative but, in fact, the sample may contain total coliforms or E. coli when collected. It’s still more than a year or so before state public health laboratories will reject samples over 30 hours. Meanwhile, the Safe Drinking Water Commission scheduled these meetings dates—May 22, July 24, Sept. 4, and Nov. 13—usually in Jefferson City. For more information, call Cynthia Bowser at (573) 751-5331.

N.J. studies arsenic, wells
New Jersey passed a law requiring residential well water to be tested at a change of deed. The results are for information-gathering purposes only and not to force remediation. One element showing up is arsenic. This focused attention on best methods available to remediate it since buyers insist on correction. As such, the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is conducting a detailed study on arsenic in well water and preparing a circular on water treatment guidelines for residential wells. NJDEP doesn’t recommend any specific brand of adsorption medium, but acknowledges pros and cons of a few methods such as granular ferric hydroxide as potential tools. NJDEP’s Steve Spayd was a scheduled speaker at the WQA convention in Las Vegas.

WQA gains ANSI endorsement
On March 6, the ANSI Accreditation Committee approved accreditation of the Water Quality Association (WQA) Gold Seal Product Certification Program for evaluations and certifications of water treatment devices, components and additives. WQA submitted its Gold Seal in an application for accreditation to ANSI last year. ANSI conducted thorough reviews and on-site audits of WQA’s documents and facilities through the fall of 2002 and during the first two months of this year. WQA’s technical director Joe Harrison said, “This is another great milestone for the association, for our industry, and for consumers.” The WQA Gold Seal Product Certification Program is ANSI-accredited for the following Drinking Water Treatment Unit (DWTU) standards—42, 44, 53, 55, 58, 62, WQA S-100, WQA S-200, WQA S-300 and WQA S-400. The Gold Seal program is also ANSI-accredited for the following material safety standards for drinking water treatment components and additives—Standards 60 and 61.

International

Water crisis looms in Iraq
Red Cross experts struggled in late March to get clean water flowing in Iraq’s second city of Basra and avert a humanitarian crisis as aid agencies waited anxiously for access to the south of the country, Reuters reported. The World Health Organization (WHO) said as many as 60 percent of the 2 million people in Basra, scene of heavy fighting between United States and British forces against Iraqi troops, had been without clean water for several or more days, prompting fears of epidemics. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called a meeting of U.N. aid agency chiefs in New York on March 26 to discuss Iraq’s humanitarian situation. The U.N. prepared to launch an appeal for over $1 billion in aid for Iraq. WHO said the lack of clean water could lead to a rapid rise in respiratory infections, diarrhea diseases and measles, which are already major killers of children in Iraq.

Dosmatic expands down under
Dosmatic U.S.A./International Inc. announced the opening of its newest office location in Wamberal, Australia. The office will provide sales, customer service and technical support. The address is Dosmatic Australia, 10 Somerset Close, Wamberal, NSW 2260 Australia. The phone number is +61 2 4385 2631 and the fax number is +61 2 4385 1898. The company’s water-driven injectors are used to dose precise percentages of medicines, fertilizers, chemicals and other solutions into a water line in the animal health, horticultural and industrial markets.

Hanovia installs UV systems
Hanovia, of Berkshire, England, installed two medium-pressure UV disinfection systems at one of its pumping stations. UV was chosen as the optimum treatment process for borehole water with a small risk of contamination from farmland run-off and a sewage pipe located within the catchment area. The UV installation formed part of a $923,000 refurbishment that also included new borehole pumps, control/starter panels, a treatment building and pipework modifications.

Dow deals in Spain, China
In February, the Dow Chemical Company announced Ondeo Degrémont, one of the largest water management firms in Spain, and Abensur, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in Spain, chose Dow reverse osmosis (RO) elements for a major municipal water desalination project in the Málaga region. Acusur, the main water utility in the region, will use the treated water to supplement and upgrade the existing potable municipal water supply. The plant will commence production this month and be in total production by year-end. The Málaga plant will desalinate approximately 165,000 m3/day for the local municipal supply. In other news, Dow said China Blue Star Membrane Technology Co. Ltd. chose the former’s RO elements for an advanced wastewater reclamation project in the TaiYuan ShanXi province in China. The Chinese government has given the Shanxi Taiyaun Steel Co. approval to use national funds to build a new $600 million stainless steel production line with high purity water treatment needs spearheaded by China Blue Star.

Suntory opens bidding war
Japan’s Suntory Ltd. has put its water-delivery business, Suntory Water Group, on the auction block, triggering a battle for control of a hot sector of the U.S. beverage industry, The Wall Street Journal reported. The business, which could fetch between $800 million to $1 billion, is the second-largest, bottled water delivery company in the United States and operates under brand names such as Belmont Springs and Hinckley Springs. The sale doesn’t include Suntory’s retail brands. While low-profile, the business of supplying water jugs and coolers to homes and offices is attracting attention from beverage companies looking to cash in on Americans’ growing thirst for better water. People familiar with the matter say Groupe Danone SA is the most likely buyer; however, Nestle SA and Cadbury Schweppes PLC may also take a look at the business. Formal bids were expected in December 2002, and a deal could be announced this year.

Powwow bought by Nestlé
Nestlé Waters, of Paris, signed an agreement with Hutchison Whampoa’s subsidiary, A.S. Watson, for the acquisition of the Powwow company, a leading player in the home and office delivery (HOD) water business in Europe. The purchase price was $602.7 million. Powwow started its European HOD business in September 1998. In the last three years, Powwow developed its activities across Western Europe through a series of acquisitions and organic growth. Powwow brings together 1,500 employees in seven countries—France, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Italy and Portugal. In addition, Nestlé Waters acquired Clear Water group, the leader in bottled water HOD in Russia. Created by the Arrowhead brand, HOD represents approximately 40 percent of the total U.S. bottled water business.

Danone hits the HOD market
Paris-based Groupe Danone and Eden Springs have signed an agreement to create a joint venture, bringing together both groups’ current and future HOD (home and office delivery) activities in Europe. Initially, Danone will hold a 53.2 percent stake in the new organization. Furthermore, Danone has an option to acquire 100 percent of the company’s capital, which it may invoke beginning in Jan. 1, 2008. Present in 18 countries, the joint venture will have the widest geographical coverage in the sector with 11 countries including France, Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden and strong local positions in Germany, UK, Italy and Poland. It will operate more than 350,000 coolers and hold a 20 percent share of the European market. The joint venture will be based in Lausanne, Switzerland, and managed by Mike Hecker, currently general manager of Eden Springs Europe.

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