Former USEPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman will present the opening address—“Shaping the Future: America’s Environment Today”—on May 24 at the Fourth International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds in Monterey, Calif. ?

In March, GE showcased some of its technologies in Washington, D.C. The 10-day event, “Imagination Nation,” featured products from six GE businesses including a RO machine from GE Water & Process Technologies. The event was designed for consumers, business leaders and government officials. ?

Watertown, Mass.-based Ionics Inc. restructured and consolidated its Australian operations under Ionics Australasia Pty. Ltd.  Effective March 31, this new entity was integrated and carried out the business activities performed by its Ionics Watertec Pty. Ltd. and Elite Chemicals Pty. Ltd. business units. ?

Lord Corp., of Cary, N.C., makers of a metal treatment and coating system for corrosion control of ferrous metal, announced an exclusive marketing agreement with Terramix S.A., of San Jose, Costa Rica. Terramix is a manufacturer of rubber gaskets for pipe products worldwide. ?

WEDECO AG Water Technology, of Germany, acquired 15.2 percent of the shares in WEDECO Gesellschaft für Umwelt-technologie mbH from Paris-based Veolia Water Systems S. A. WEDECO now holds all shares in the parent company of WEDECO’s ozone business. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. In other news, WEDECO AG reported a 12.5 percent drop in 2003 revenue, due in part to relocation of its U.S. operations into joint facilities in North Carolina. ?

Global demand for water treatment products is forecast to increase 6.6 percent per year through 2007 (including price increases) to nearly $35 billion. This and other projections are presented in “World Water Treatment Products,” a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial research firm. ?

The WERF Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research is accepting applications for the Paul L. Busch Award, which carries with it a $100,000 research grant for researchers to continue their work, take risks and explore new directions and benefits in practical solutions to wastewater problems. Applications must be received by June 1.?

American Water Star Inc., of Las Vegas, added the second largest U.S. grocery wholesaler as a distributor in California. The new distributor currently delivers to 4,000 independent supermarkets, major supermarket chains, mass marketers and wholesale clubs. ?

Rob Renner, deputy executive director of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) since 1996, was named the next executive director of the Instrumentation, System and Automation Society. He will end his AWWA service following the group’s annual conference and exposition next month. ?


U.S. concerned about water
The majority of Americans worry about the purity of their drinking water, a poll released in early April indicated. The Gallup Poll said 53 percent of respondents were concerned “a great deal” about pollution of drinking water supplies. The next highest concerns were over pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs and contamination of soil and water by toxic waste. The survey indicated that, in general, the level of concern over environmental issues had dropped from highs of several years ago. Among issues presented to respondents, the environment ranked as the 10th highest concern. The top three issues cited as high concerns were the availability and affordability of healthcare, crime and violence, and drug use. The survey’s findings are based on telephone interviews with 1,005 U.S. adults conducted March 8-11. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

USEPA misleads in report
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) incorrectly claimed to have met its goals of ensuring that at least 91 percent of the nation’s drinking water met federal health-based standards from 1999 to 2002, the agency’s inspector general said in mid-March. The agency claims the report is the most comprehensive set of information available about violations at public water systems. About 54,000 community water systems supply water to 268 million Americans, the report said, so each percentage point reported by the USEPA represents about 2.6 million people. In one instance, the USEPA inspector general’s office noted that last June—during the final days of Christie Whitman’s tenure as USEPA administrator—the agency inaccurately claimed, “Our drinking water is purer. In 2002, 94 percent of Americans were served by drinking water systems that meet our health-based standards an increase of 15 percent in the last decade,” the Associated Press reported. The detailed 2003 USEPA report can be found at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/data/pdfs/factoids_2003.pdf

Remember the Alamo site; firm inks deal with TexSon
On March 15, San Antonio-based Alamo Water Refiners Inc. launched a new and improved website: www.alamowater.com. Among the site’s new features are the ability to download the company’s complete products catalog, order select products through an online shopping cart, and gain access to valuable dealer training information. The company’s re-designed website offers a plethora of new content, information and services such as training information, frequently asked questions, company news, alliances and partnerships, and location of dealers. The company said it will update the site regularly while featuring a different product on the home page every month. In other news, Alamo has formed an alliance with a new water treatment products company headed by veteran former employees that will serve the needs of certain longtime customers. The non-competitive referral agreement is between Alamo Water and TexSon Water Inc. Under the agreement, customers who call Alamo Water in search of water treatment products that the company no longer carries will be referred to TexSon Water. TexSon will carry many non-stock items and special order products that may be phased out of the Alamo Water inventory. In turn, TexSon Water will not approach existing Alamo Water clients nor accept requests for products or services that Alamo Water provides for those customers. TexSon Water is headed by Scott Buss and Dan Cammack, son of Alamo Water founder Huette “Sonny” Cammack.

Red Jacket seeks all-stars
Red Jacket Water Products dealers can earn rewards for purchasing the company’s pumps and tanks as part of a new sales incentive program kicked off March 1. The “Be An All Star” promotion is similar to the rewards program that ended successfully last October—over 960 professional independent dealers participated in that program, which took place during the company’s 125th anniversary celebration. To be an All Star, dealers must buy Red Jacket pumps and/or tanks between March 1 and Sept. 24. A dealer who buys five pumps or tanks earns his choice of a crewneck sweatshirt and hat, hooded sweatshirt or tape measure and buck knife as a Level 1 All-Star. If a dealer purchases 25 more pumps and/or tanks for a total of 30, he keeps the first level rewards and can choose between a charbroil smoker, a pair of hiking boots or duck vest and gloves as a Level 2 All-Star. Buy just 20 more products for a total of 50 and keep the first two rewards and a dealer will receive a heavy-duty jacket or golf bag as a Level 3 All-Star. Distributor kits and dealer brochures detailing the program are available by contacting a Red Jacket salesman or the company. Red Jacket is owned by ITT Industries.

STS buys indoor air firm
On March 16, Fort Washington, Pa.-based Severn Trent Services (STS) purchased Phoenix-based Aerotech Laboratories Inc. Aerotech is an analytical company specializing in the indoor air quality market including mold testing, food microbiology, industrial hygiene, bioterrorism response analysis and general environmental testing. Aerotech operations include major laboratory facilities in Phoenix, an air sampling supplies and equipment business also in Phoenix, as well as a service center in Tucson, Ariz.

WQA, RAI sign deal for trade show; members use TCS to follow industry
The Water Quality Association and RAI—at the WQA convention in Baltimore—signed a non-binding letter of intent to form a show, WQA Aquatech USA. Final details were expected to be completed by June 1. The first joint show will be held in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 29–April 2, 2005, as part of WQA’s 31st annual convention. This new show—similar to Aquatech Amsterdam, which RAI also runs—will bring together a diverse group of water-related industries under one roof, a first in the United States. It’s anticipated that high purity, industrial, wastewater and other water-related specialties will become involved with the show over time. The goal—like Aquatech Amsterdam, the largest water industry event in the world—is to bring a broad range of industries under one roof, at one place, at one event to benefit everyone including dealers, manufacturers, retailers and exhibitors. In addition, other groups and associations will be invited to become a part of the show. RAI and WQA anticipate the show will build rapidly over the first three years, maturing into an exhibition perhaps five times as large as the current WQA show by 2007. The WQA Board of Governors voted to approve the venture at its March 19 meeting. This will set in motion final negotiations for a contractural arrangement that will likely be presented to the WQA Board for ratification at its May meeting. The WQA Aquatech USA show will be a for-profit entity separate from WQA’s other activities. Unlike Aquatech Amsterdam, it will be an annual event. Meanwhile, RAI announced it would discontinue its annual Brazilian show, Aquatech FITMA, due to declining exhibitors and attendance. The last show in Brazil was held June 3-5, 2003, in São Paulo in conjunction with the IV Southern Cone Regional Congress of Sanitary Engineers of AIDIS—the Interamerican Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineers. RAI also produces another biennial event, Aquatech Asia, in Bangkok, Thailand, along with the Southeast Asian Water Summit. It was held in Singapore in 1996 and 1998. The WQA event is expected to move annually among a targeted group of cities to draw the most in terms of exhibitors and attendees.

In other news, the WQA completed in early April an Internet-based system that gives its members access to all aspects of critical POU/POE initiatives—domestic and international—from its website, www.wqa.org. Called the Task Control System (TCS), it’s both the core WQA management mechanism for tracking all key industry initiatives and regulatory issues—now called “tasks”—and a member review and input system that gives them the opportunity to comment on every task and submit proposed tasks. Through this interactive window into the WQA, members can find issues that affect their business—both short- and long-term, review the charge that drives a given task, and look at timelines, communications, ongoing actions, minutes and deliverables. Members can easily customize their personal home page to show them only tasks they want to track. They can even opt to have an email sent to them whenever information changes on a given task. One major goal of the WQA Board of Directors in the restructuring process was to increase opportunities for every member to take part in the association. The TCS allows members to submit proposed tasks, comment on the work of every Task Force, and to keep track of all the work of the association as it happens. A second goal was to give WQA members a competitive advantage in the POU/POE marketplace with the most current information available so they can grow and prosper in a dramatically changing business environment.

Dasani yanked off shelves; European rollout postponed
The Coca-Cola Co. said in mid-March that it recalled its entire Dasani line of bottled water from the British market after levels of bromate, a potentially harmful chemical, were found to exceed legal standards. In addition, it indefinitely postponed its rollout of Dasani in France and Germany, which were to be the first in continental Europe, due to the publicity issues raised in Britain. The launch in France was scheduled for mid-April, and Germany’s by early summer. Coca-Cola consulted the Food Standards Agency, Britain’s food quality watchdog, which said the withdrawal was a “sensible” measure. The recall, described by Coca-Cola as a voluntary precautionary measure, may prove to be a serious setback to the company’s efforts to break into the British bottled water market. It was recently criticized in British media after its disclosure that Dasani was in fact treated and purified tap water, a practice not uncommon in the bottled water industry. The recall of about 500,000 bottles of Dasani, which applies only to the British market, was to be completed within 24 hours. British limits for bromate, a non-metallic salt, in bottled and tap waters are 10 parts per billion (ppb), Coca-Cola said, and Dasani samples had tested at between “borderline” (about 10) and 22 ppb. European tap water limits are 25 parts per billion. Coca-Cola said the bromate was formed during the ozone gas purification process it used in Dasani manufacturing and bottling. To ensure that Dasani meets calcium levels required in all UK bottled water products, it adds calcium chloride, a derivative of bromide. Dasani is the No. 2 bottled water brand in the United States. Dasani is essentially filtered and treated municipal water. About two of every five bottles of water sold globally are produced in this way.

China improves in report, shortage remains a concern
Drinking water sources in most of China’s key cities have been given clean bills of health after being tested in February by the State Environmental Protection Administration. Still, the situation wasn’t good in Chongqing Municipality in the southwest part of the country, Harbin in the northeastern Heilong-jiang province, and Changsha in the central Hunan province. The quality of all of the cities’ source water wasn’t up to the national standard, as was the case in January, the administration said in a monthly release covering 47 key cities. The biggest concern was the major pollutant index, which exceeded standards in terms of nitrogen and fecal coliform. They are mainly attributable to human and agricultural pollution, but experts said people shouldn’t be alarmed. The nitrogen didn’t surpass levels that are harmful to humans and fecal coliform is easily disposed of by water treatment facilities. Nevertheless, water resources are being overused in China. For example, 60 percent of the water in the Huaihe River, 65 percent of the water in the Liaohe River, and 62 percent of the water in the Yellow River water is being drawn. It’s agreed internationally that 30 to 40 percent is the warning level for water use. In addition to rivers, much of China’s drinking water comes from groundwater sources. Nearly 60 percent of the 669 cities in the country don’t have enough water, and 110 of them are suffering from serious shortages.

Kärcher granted UN contract
The United Nations (UN), based in New York City, has awarded Kärcher, of Winnenden, Germany, a contract to build and supply up to 45 mobile drinking water treatment plants. Twenty systems have already been delivered. The UN recently decided to purchase a new generation of drinking water treatment plants for its aid missions and invited international tenders for the project. The plant is suitable for treating heavily polluted surface, ground and spring water that would represent a considerable health risk to the population if it were left untreated. The system consists of two, 20-foot ISO containers. One of them houses the actual drinking water treatment plant, and the other accommodates the ancillary equipment such as water tanks, pumps and a water laboratory. The plant has a capacity of about 528 gallons of drinking water per hour and uses the physical principle of ultrafiltration. Water is forced through a membrane under pressure. Turbid substances, bacteria and other contaminants are greatly reduced in the process.

WQA, RAI sign deal for trade show; members use TCS to follow industry
The Water Quality Association and RAI—at the WQA convention in Baltimore—signed a non-binding letter of intent to form a show, WQA Aquatech USA. Final details were expected to be completed by June 1. The first joint show will be held in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 29–April 2, 2005, as part of WQA’s 31st annual convention. This new show—similar to Aquatech Amsterdam, which RAI also runs—will bring together a diverse group of water-related industries under one roof, a first in the United States. It’s anticipated that high purity, industrial, wastewater and other water-related specialties will become involved with the show over time. The goal—like Aquatech Amsterdam, the largest water industry event in the world—is to bring a broad range of industries under one roof, at one place, at one event to benefit everyone including dealers, manufacturers, retailers and exhibitors. In addition, other groups and associations will be invited to become a part of the show. RAI and WQA anticipate the show will build rapidly over the first three years, maturing into an exhibition perhaps five times as large as the current WQA show by 2007. The WQA Board of Governors voted to approve the venture at its March 19 meeting. This will set in motion final negotiations for a contractural arrangement that will likely be presented to the WQA Board for ratification at its May meeting. The WQA Aquatech USA show will be a for-profit entity separate from WQA’s other activities. Unlike Aquatech Amsterdam, it will be an annual event. Meanwhile, RAI announced it would discontinue its annual Brazilian show, Aquatech FITMA, due to declining exhibitors and attendance. The last show in Brazil was held June 3-5, 2003, in São Paulo in conjunction with the IV Southern Cone Regional Congress of Sanitary Engineers of AIDIS—the Interamerican Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineers. RAI also produces another biennial event, Aquatech Asia, in Bangkok, Thailand, along with the Southeast Asian Water Summit. It was held in Singapore in 1996 and 1998. The WQA event is expected to move annually among a targeted group of cities to draw the most in terms of exhibitors and attendees.

In other news, the WQA completed in early April an Internet-based system that gives its members access to all aspects of critical POU/POE initiatives—domestic and international—from its website, www.wqa.org. Called the Task Control System (TCS), it’s both the core WQA management mechanism for tracking all key industry initiatives and regulatory issues—now called “tasks”—and a member review and input system that gives them the opportunity to comment on every task and submit proposed tasks. Through this interactive window into the WQA, members can find issues that affect their business—both short- and long-term, review the charge that drives a given task, and look at timelines, communications, ongoing actions, minutes and deliverables. Members can easily customize their personal home page to show them only tasks they want to track. They can even opt to have an email sent to them whenever information changes on a given task. One major goal of the WQA Board of Directors in the restructuring process was to increase opportunities for every member to take part in the association. The TCS allows members to submit proposed tasks, comment on the work of every Task Force, and to keep track of all the work of the association as it happens. A second goal was to give WQA members a competitive advantage in the POU/POE marketplace with the most current information available so they can grow and prosper in a dramatically changing business environment.

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