By Ronald Y. Pérez, WC&P Managing Editor

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) unveiled an interactive website (“flash”) program illustrating bottled water’s path-to-market from water source to finished product on Oct. 30 at the World Wide Food Expo in Chicago. The bottled water industry is still reeling from a British report that attempted to tie bottled water to the Campylobacter bacteria that’s linked to gastrointestinal problems (see On Tap). The IBWA program provides information about the processes, regulations and standards that ensure bottled water safety and quality including bacterial contamination.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), through its Waterline newsletter, reported that Clara City, Minn., has installed a reverse osmosis (RO) treatment plant. It may be the first RO plant to be used to reduce nitrate in water. For years, the city supplied bottled water to pregnant women and families with infants because of the contaminant. RO was chosen only after other alternatives were explored such as a different source of water and breakpoint chlorination. With the cost of membranes coming down along with the chemical requirements for such treatment, many in the state see RO as the “wave of the future.” Several communities in the west-central and southwestern portion of the state are looking at RO closely as a possible treatment solution. In the same Waterline issue, it was announced that Doug Mandy took over as manager of the MDH Drinking Water Protection Section, replacing Gary Englund who retired last spring.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) charges resulted in prison sentences for Kenneth Hinkley and Alexander Lapteff for criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. Lapteff faces 36 months imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, and a year of supervised release—and was prohibited from future employment operating a wastewater treatment plant or providing laboratory sampling and testing services to such treatment facilities. Hinkley was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment. This came in the aftermath of mismanagement of the wastewater treatment facility at Christchurch School in Middlesex County, Va. From May 1997 to March 2002, causing discharge of sludge and chlorine into a tributary of the Rappahannock River.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) will hold a public hearing Dec. 9, at 1:30 p.m., at the ADEM Central Office in Montgomery to consider proposed amendments to Division 7 of the ADEM Administrative Code. The proposed amendments will modify language in monitoring requirements for chemical contaminants and radionuclides, add a section to allow for continuation of expired permits, and alter consumer confidence reports to conform to federal requirements. Written comments may be directed to: 1400 Coliseum Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36110-2059. The comment period ends Dec. 11. For more information, see

The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) kicked off its 2004/2005 fundraising campaign on behalf of Habitat for Humanity Canada. Since 1994, CIPH members have contributed more than $1.7 million in cash and products to Habitat for Humanity Canada and helped over 500 Canadian families move into homes. The CIPH charity committee set a goal to raise a minimum of $550,000 in cash and products. A highlight of the campaign is the CIPH Gala in Support of Habitat for Humanity Canada, which will take place March 5 as part of CIPHEX 2004.

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