By Ronald Y. Pérez, WC&P Managing Editor

The WQANewsFax reported the WQA worked recently with Texas water treatment dealers on a petition to state regulators to rescind septic tank rules restricting brine discharge from water softeners based on “incomplete science” regarding hydraulic loading and suspected effects on soil bacteria. After almost a year of communications volleying, however, the Texas WQA sponsored a bill to the state legislature that would override the prior Texas rule. The bill was passed this summer and mandates high efficiency DIR equipment—an alternative also presented in the Pacific WQA’s fight in California that led to the compromise in 1998’s SB1006. TWQA’s Bob Boerner, of San Antonio, noted an amendment restricts discharge on aerobic systems into the second tank only. “We’d rather not have the amendment but, right now, it bought us some time,” he said. “We can work on that next.”

Meanwhile, the WQA has collaborated with dealers in Montana with regard to technical backup and strategy. Nearly 30 dealers attended a meeting organized by the Department of Environmental Quality to discuss the rules. Department officials set up a task force that will consider rescinding rules prohibiting brine discharge. This is expected to take up to a year. In the duration, rules aren’t being actively implemented on the county level.

The Canadian Water Quality Association (CWQA) played a vital role in the formation of a new CSA International technical committee whose mandate will be to develop a Canadian standard for drinking water treatment units (DWTU). The new technical committee—made up of water treatment industry representatives, government, product users and other interested parties—agree that there’s a need to have a Canadian consensus document that addresses the complete DWTU product; references NSF standards as applicable, and discusses other general plumbing product certification requirements (mechanical compatibility and performance issues). It’s expected that the process to write the standard will take one to two years, reported the CWQA’s Communiqué. According to CSA’s website, “A standard is a document that has been prepared, approved, and published by a recognized standards organization and contains rules, requirements, or procedures for an orderly approach to a specific activity. Standards may include product design requirements, test methods, classifications, recommend practices, and other considerations.” Technical committee chair Scott MacDonald, of Envirogard, is working with CSA to build a “balanced matrix” of membership that includes four main interest groups—producers, users, general, and regulatory authorities. Current members include representatives from Delta Faucet, EcoWater, Kinetico, USF Watergroup, Waterite, Zenon, Health Canada, Regie du Batiment du Quebec, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Canadian Water & Waste Water Association. CWQA manager Constance Wrigley-Thomas is vice-chair of the technical committee, which was formalized at a meeting of the CSA Strategic Steering Committee on Plumbing Products and Materials on Aug. 19 in Winnipeg. The first official meeting of the technical committee was held Sept. 17 in Toronto.

Information about North Dakota’s public water systems is available in the 2002 Drinking Water Compliance Report prepared by the state Dept. of Health. Last year, the department issued 320 certificates of compliance to operators and public water systems. All SDWA violations incurred in North Dakota in 2002 are included in the report. Also listed are violations recorded this year based on 2002 monitoring data. To obtain a copy of the 2002 Drinking Water Compliance Report write to the North Dakota Dept. of Health, Div. of Municipal Facilities, P.O. Box 5520, Bismarck, N.D. 58506, or call (701) 328-5211. A summary of the report can be viewed on the department’s website: us/ndhd/environ/mf/Pubs/2002acrsummary.pdf.

For further details or updates on these and other state and regional items of related interest, see Breaking News at


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