Hantech Corp. has opened a new facility. The address is 9830 Bell Ranch Drive, Bldg. 102, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670. It can be contacted at (562) 777-0080, (562) 777-0083 (fax) and email: sales@hantech group.com. Hantech manufactures stainless steel membrane vessels, pressure gauges and filter vessels. ?

Portland, Ore.-based XP Software announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency accepted its hydrodynamic modeling software for use in the National Flood Insurance Program. ?

Charlotte, N.C.-based FocusPools.com, a wholesale Internet pool and spa chemical retailer, expanded its product offering to include higher-density, longer-lasting chlorine tablets and sticks. The company offers an array of products by LeisureTime, Nature2, GLB, Robarb, Rendezvous, and others. ?

AdEdge Technologies Inc. has moved to 3560 Financial Center Way, Suite 5, Buford, GA 30519. The phone number is (866) 823-3343 and the fax number is (866) 823-3243. ?

AquaMaster Fountains and Aerators, of Kiel, Wis., has expanded its operations with a new manufacturing 12,000 square-foot facility. The company is a manufacturer of fountain and aeration equipment for aquatic environments. ?

ASTM International, of West Conshohocken, Pa., established a new membership category for undergraduate and college graduate students. The student membership category is available and free of charge to eligible students. ?

Prism Visual Software, of Port Washington, N.Y., gained recognition for its product MiniMate, a handheld software solution for the routing and delivery industry, from PDA Planet Magazine, which gave the company the “2002 Planet PDA Product of the Year” award. ?

A study published as part of the USEPA’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program verified the performance of a membrane filtration plant from PCI Membrane Systems Inc., of Milford, Ohio, tested on high organic laden surface water in Barrow, Alaska. ?

Watts Industries Inc., of North Andover, Mass., acquired Martin Orgee UK Ltd., of the UK. Martin Orgee distributes a line of plumbing and heating products to the wholesale, commercial and OEM markets in the UK and southern Ireland. The company’s annual sales are $2.7 million. ?

Las Vegas-based American Water Star has received a permit to bottle water on March 7 from California for its Tustin plant. The 39,000-square foot bottling plant began production on March 10. The facility will produce Hawaiian Tropic, Geyser Fruit and Geyser Fruta. ?

Weir Westgarth, of Glasgow, Poland, signed a $25 million contract to build a new seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. ?

Intertox has moved its location. The new address is 2505 2nd Ave., Suite 415, Seattle, WA 98121. Tel: (206) 443-2115, and fax: (206) 443-2117. Intertox assesses risks related to chemical and biological exposure and provides toxicological services and develops scientifically-based strategies. ?

ITT Industries Inc., of White Plains, N.Y., acquired pump manufacturer Uniservice Wellpoint Srl, of Italy, which produces a range of high quality diesel and electric powered, vacuum-primed centrifugal pumps. The company recorded revenues of approximately $4 million in 2002. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. ?

WQA sets Mid-Year Conference dates; designed to save members in expenses
WQA’s 2003 Mid-Year Leadership Conference will be held in Chicago, Oct. 28-Nov. 1, the association said in early May. The conference is being held concurrently with the IBWA Convention, itself a part of the 2003 Food Expo held at McCormick Place. The convenience of sharing a meeting date with IBWA was done to allow WQA attendees to save on both travel and lodging expenses. WQA task forces will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 28. Only the new supervisory committees—which will oversee all WQA operations and have task forces reporting to them—and sections will be meet on Wednesday, Oct. 29, and Thursday, Oct. 30. All WQA members are encouraged to attend these new meetings.

The Board of Directors will meet on Friday, Oct. 31. Educational programming will be held on Friday and Saturday morning, Nov. 1. All WQA meetings will be held at McCormick Place with shuttle buses from the hotel. On Wednesday evening, a welcome reception will be held at Palmer House followed by a fundraising event for WQRC off property in lieu of the traditional golf and tennis outings. WQA will have a room block at the Palmer House. The room rate is $209; however, there’s a discounted rate of $159 provided the room is prepaid by July 15 for a minimum three-night stay (for this rate, the payment is non-refundable).

The International Dairy Food Association, one of the main organizers of the Worldwide Food Expo, is offering WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference attendees a complimentary registration to the Food Expo. This includes admission to the trade show as well as other meetings and educational programming offered during the show (a $125 value). WQA’s meetings and educational programming will be posted on the Food Expo Web website with a link to WQA’s site for information on WQA activities. Conference registration will be $60, which will cover all task force and committee meetings. Educational sessions will be $20 for each of the four, one-hour educational sessions on Friday, Oct. 31, and $60 for the four-hour session on Saturday, Nov. 1.

Hoosier program comes under scrutiny by USEPA
Indiana spends just 12 cents per person to ensure water is safe in 4,800 public water systems that serve millions of people, the Indianapolis Star reported. Every other Midwestern state spends at least three times as much, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The Indiana program’s $2.6 million annual budget is almost half that spent in Kentucky and about one-fourth of the almost $10 million spent in Ohio. Indiana has just 10 field inspectors and 28 other full-time staffers to monitor its public water systems. These systems include large metropolitan utilities such as Indianapolis Water, mid-size utilities that serve towns, and even small systems. It’s the smaller systems, which don’t have the expertise to test water quality regularly, that primarily concern officials. The lack of manpower means Indiana inspects water systems less frequently than other states—an average of once every five years compared with every three years in other states. The USEPA, which has allowed the state to administer federal drinking water regulations since 1991, has repeatedly warned Indiana that its program doesn’t measure up.  

WQA forms global alliance
As reported in the April 16 issue of the WQANewsFax, the WQA formed a strategic partnership with the U.S. Global Trade & Technology Network (GTN). It promotes trade, investment and technology transfer in 39 countries to aid economic growth in developing countries. The GTN offers WQA members a variety of programs and a network of trade specialists who can help guide companies through international trade transactions. GTN also has an e-commerce platform, which can be utilized by WQA members free of charge. The program links buyers and sellers throughout the world. GTN has a presence in about 40 emerging market countries spanning Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Near East, and the United States with water quality technologies and services among its most active sectors. WQA members who would like to post products or access trade leads from buyers seeking water treatment equipment are asked to contact gbaker@usgtn.net to receive a user name and password to access the GTN database.

Firm secures registration
An antimicrobial technology from Engelhard Corp., of Iselin, N.J., was granted registration by the USEPA for use against tuberculosis and other animal pathogens in veterinary applications. The company’s technology can be tailored to release chlorine dioxide, a potent germ killer, at precise rates and controlled concentrations when it comes in contact with water or moisture in the air. The company is also conducting efficacy tests to secure USEPA registration for use of the technology against other animal pathogens including the Norwalk virus. Last year, the technology received USEPA registration for use in water purification and mold control applications. It’s also being used to purify emergency drinking water, control mold in swimming pools and desliming ice machines and water softeners, among other applications.

Bottled water under fire
Some California lawmakers believe customers don’t know whether bottled water is any more pure than what comes from the tap, but that could change. Lawmakers are now proposing more regulations on the state’s $1 billion bottled water industry. Whether it comes from a retail store, a vending machine or an office water cooler, almost 70 percent of Californians drink bottled water. Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, says consumers need more assurance they’re getting their money’s worth. Unlike tap water, bottled water is considered a food product. Corbett wants that to change. Some consumer groups agree. The Brookcrest Water Co. in Sacramento supplies offices and homes. They offer a product called Pure Drinking Water, which starts with city tap water. Water experts say, if passed, the new legislation would have little or no impact on high quality water companies, but could impact the labeling of common bottled waters.

States merge for PHCC show
Both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania associations of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Contractors (PHCC) have announced that they’ll hold the first ever joint trade show and expo in 2004. It’s scheduled for April 16 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J. The show will feature the latest in new product ideas, informative seminars, and technical demonstrations.

SARS source may be found
A new coronavirus is probably behind the deadly respiratory illness known as SARS, several international research teams reported. Hong Kong scientists studied 50 patients with the disease and found evidence of the viral activity in 90 percent of them. The report was rushed to early online publication in The Lancet along with a commentary from two U.S. experts and guidelines on managing the deadly disease, which begins with a fever of greater than 100.4 degrees (°F) and can progress quickly to breathing difficulties. Still, U.S. health officials cautioned that confirmation of the finding is still needed. Before saying for sure that a coronavirus causes SARS, two more steps are required—demonstrate the presence of coronavirus in affected tissue and an animal model. Researchers are still investigating a possible link of SARS to poor sanitation and under what conditions it might be waterborne-based. Two other research teams, writing in the May 15 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, suggested naming the SARS disease after one of its victims. Dr. Carlo Urbani, a World Health Organization expert on communicable diseases and a member of the team that wrote the article, died of SARS on March 29. Meanwhile, researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease at Fort Detrick, Md., and at the University of Virginia, among others, will test drugs already on the market and those in development with 2,000 possibilities, according to the Associated Press. Finding an existing drug that can kill the SARS virus would save five years or more—the minimum time most experts say is needed to develop a drug from scratch.

Aluminum tied to disease
Adding support to a controversial theory linking aluminum with Alzheimer’s disease, new research from UCLA indicates the disease is more common in regions of northwest Italy where levels of aluminum in drinking water are highest. While there have been suggestions that aluminum cookware might pose a risk for Alzheimer’s, the type of aluminum used in pots and pans consists of multiple molecules and does not appear to affect human cells. When researchers tested water in regions of northwest Italy in 1998, they found that total aluminum levels—including monomeric and other types of aluminum—ranged from 5 to 1,220 micrograms per liter (mg/L) while monomeric aluminum levels alone ranged from 5 to 300 mg/L. Environmental officials generally recommend that total aluminum levels be below 200 mg/L.  

AWWA extends helping hand
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) offered to provide the U.S. government advice and guidance on rebuilding the water utility infrastructure in Iraq. According to an April hearing of the House Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Andrew Natsios, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), testified that the most urgent need in Iraq is the assessment and repair of more than 250 water treatment facilities throughout the country. In a letter to USEPA administrator Christie Whitman, AWWA executive director Jack Hoffbuhr said AWWA’s members have been watching the Iraqi situation unfold and are willing to offer advice, expertise and strategic assistance to help rebuild the Iraqi water infrastructure. “Meeting this need will ensure the supply of clean water to the Iraqi people and prevent potentially deadly waterborne diseases among them,” Hoffbuhr wrote. He also noted that Water for People (WFP), an independent member of the AWWA family, has a history of working with the water profession in identifying and assisting developing countries in building clean water and sanitation projects. In October 2000, WFP formed a partnership with the USEPA called “Water For Africa.”

Law warrants TCE warning
 The Illinois Department of Public Health advised private well owners in Sandwich, Ill., near Chicago, to have their wells checked for a dangerous chemical even though it hasn’t been found, even in trace results, in the area since 1990. The notification to private well owners is coming out now—13 years later—because of a new state law that requires it whenever chemicals are found in municipal water systems. A state health department spokesman said the advisory was purely cautionary and there’s no knowledge of problems at any of the private wells in the area. Between April and September 1990, the municipal water supply in Sandwich was above allowed levels of trichloroethylene (TCE), a de-greasing chemical that increases risk of liver and kidney damage through long-term exposure. The system hasn’t had contamination problems since 1990. 

WFP helps kids in Vietnam
In southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Water For People (WFP) and CARE Vietnam have partnered with the Kien Giang Provincial Education Department to improve water and sanitation facilities, and basic hygiene knowledge for the schoolchildren in and around the U Minh Thuong National Park buffer zone. Assessment findings indicate that the main health problems of schoolchildren include stomachaches, diarrhea, headaches and dengue fever. Almost all of these illnesses are water and sanitation-related problems. Over the next 18 months, the “Clean Water for Schools” program will implement the design and construction of water and sanitation facilities in 37 schools within the buffer zone. About 4,650 schoolchildren will be the benefactors. See www.waterforpeople.org


Haestad sees method in region
Haestad Methods, of Waterbury, Conn., is implementing a strategic water resources modeling project with Salamanca (Mexico) Public Utilities, in cooperation with the state water commission of Guanajuato. Salamanca hopes to improve its water resources infrastructure to promote water recycling and decrease water losses. This project began in early November. Interest by Latin American utilities continues to increase following several recent Haestad education courses in the region including Manizales, Colombia; Monterrey, Puebla and Cancun, Mexico, and Santiago, Chile.  

Parana reclaims utility
Southern Brazil’s Parana state annulled an agreement with Domino Holdings and has retaken operating control of state water utility Sanepar, as of late February, the government announced. Domino Holdings is now restricted to 20 percent owndership of Sanepar shares and will be required to return all individual profits received from the water utility. A 1998 agreement allowed the Domino Holdings group to own 39.7 percent of Sanepar’s shares and, although the group owned the minority of shares, it was given power to appoint government representatives and have a majority on the board. The Domino group is comprised of various entities including France’s Vivendi Environment.

WFP helps kids in Vietnam
In southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Water For People (WFP) and CARE Vietnam have partnered with the Kien Giang Provincial Education Department to improve water and sanitation facilities, and basic hygiene knowledge for the schoolchildren in and around the U Minh Thuong National Park buffer zone. Assessment findings indicate that the main health problems of schoolchildren include stomachaches, diarrhea, headaches and dengue fever. Almost all of these illnesses are water and sanitation-related problems. Over the next 18 months, the “Clean Water for Schools” program will implement the design and construction of water and sanitation facilities in 37 schools within the buffer zone. About 4,650 schoolchildren will be the benefactors.
See www.waterforpeople.org.

Scandinavia dominates water rankings
A report released at the World Economic Forum in February ranked 142 countries for their environmental sustainability. A number of errors forced it to be re-released in March. A country’s ranking was based on various factors including quantity and quality of fresh water—especially groundwater, wastewater treatment facilities, and legal issues such as the application of pollution regulations. Topping the list were Finland, Norway and Sweden. The United States was ranked No. 51 while United Arab Emirates ranked last on the list. Uruguay scored highest in Latin America at No. 6, New Zealand ranked first in the Pacific Rim at No. 19, Namibia was first for Africa at No. 26, and Bhutan was tops in Asia at No. 30. The report’s editors were Peter Cornelius, of the World Economic Forum, and Daniel Esty, clinical professor of environmental law and policy at Yale University.

Environmental Sustainability Index

Rank    Country    Indicator Value
    9………Costa Rica…..63.2


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