The Eastern Water Quality Association has responded to the Ray Cross Challenge with one of their own. As announced at WQA Aquatech in Chicago, Ray Cross endowed a matching funds challenge grant for the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) by which he will match every donated dollar with one of his own, up to $300,000 in all. The EWQA rose to that opportunity with a donation of $1,000 and a secondary challenge: “We hereby challenge the other regional associations to exceed our contribution! Of course, if they would rather simply admit we’re America’s finest chapter, that’s fine with us,” President Mike Urbans said. Will the EWQA’s generosity inspire others? Time will tell—but remember, donations must be made while the Ray Cross endowment is in effect and time’s awastin’!?

Other regional WQAs, take note: The Pacific Water Quality Association has picked up the gauntlet and raised the stakes. At the Southern California Barbecue on April 28, PWQA announced a challenge grant of their own, thereby beating the EQWA and increasing the benefits to WQRF. PWQA’s challenge grant will match every dollar contributed to the WQRF by a PWQA member, up to a total of $2,500 during the Cross challenge period. “Our goal is to maximize contributions to the wonderful works of the Water Quality Research Foundation, plain and simple,” explained PWQA President Mike Mecca of Performance Water, “Topway Global (Brea, Calif.) stepped right up with a contribution of $500 which we will match, bringing it to $1,000…which Ray Cross will match, making a total of $2,000 donated to the WQRF.” ?

The next EWQA Road Show will be held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at the Holiday Inn on June 13th Participants may call the hotel at (518) 584-6511. For further event information, call Jodi Snyder at (866) 557-5513. The EWQA’s annual convention is scheduled for September 27-29 at the Hilton Pikesville in Pikesville, Md. More information will be provided as the event approaches. ?

Sprite Industries, Inc. has recently increased its production capacity by relocating to a 25,000 sq. ft. facility. The new address is 1791 Railroad St., Corona, Calif. Contact information: toll free (800) 327-9137, phone (951) 735-1015 and fax (951) 735-1016. ?


North America

GE sells unit
Puronics, Incorporated announced that it has acquired Ionics Consumer Water Group from GE Water & Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Company. Ionics Consumer Water Group is a U.S.-based manufacturer of home and commercial water treatment products. GE acquired Ionics Consumer Water Group through acquisition of Ionics, Inc. in 2005. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Radium removal process
Hungerford & Terry announced the introduction of a process that removes radium from municipal drinking water supplies at significant cost savings compared to standard ion exchange. Information on the new process will be available at the Hungerford & Terry booth number 4028 at the American Water Works Association Annual Conference and Exposition to be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas, during the week of June 11-16, 2006.

Funds approved for hot tub research
The Board of Directors of the National Swimming Pool Foundation® has unanimously approved matching funds to those donated towards hot tub immersion health benefit research. They will match, dollar-for-dollar, the pledged commitments made by 12 leading organizations amounting to $80,500 per year for two years, for a total of $161,000.

Distribution agreement
ADI International Inc. and Watts Water Technologies have entered into an agreement whereby Watts Water Technologies will become the exclusive distributor in the United States for MEDIA G2® arsenic reduction media.

NSF invitation to PACS
PACS, Inc. accepted an invitation by NSF International to jointly provide a short course titled, Activated Carbon: Technical and Certification Issues for Activated Carbon Containing Treatment Units. The course takes place each October at the International Activated Carbon Conference and Courses program in Pittsburgh, Pa.

New study on home water consumption
How much water new homes consume? A 33-month study will collect detailed information to find out how much water is consumed in standard new homes versus high-efficiency new homes. The $530,000 endeavor will look at water usage by collecting data from billing records, surveys and meter measurement of usage signifying faucet, clothes washer, toilet and other household uses. U.S. EPA will invest $350,000, with 10 other agencies contributing $20,000 each.

Fourth quarter losses
Calgon Carbon Corporation announced results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2005. Net sales from continuing operations were $71.3 million versus net sales from continuing operations of $76.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2004, a decrease of 7.1 percent. Foreign currency translation had a $1.7-million negative effect on sales for the quarter due to the weaker Euro and the British Pound Sterling. Loss from operations was $5.7 million, versus income from operations of $1.2 million for the comparable period in 2004. On a fully diluted per share basis, the company reported a net loss of $0.14 for the fourth quarter of 2005, consisting of a loss of $0.16 from continuing operations and income of $0.02 from discontinued operations.

75th anniversary celebrated
United Electric Controls Company is celebrating 75 years of supplying innovative pressure and temperature switches and sensors for industrial applications worldwide. The privately held corporation continues its commitment to manufacture and develop its extensive line of threshold detection and switching products in the U.S. Company headquarters are located in Watertown, Mass., and the Precision Sensors Division is in Milford, Conn.

Share purchase agreement
Waterite Technologies, Inc. announced agreement to purchase all outstanding shares of Olympic Water Conditioning Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. Olympic’s operations will continue unchanged and assembly, warehousing and administration services will be consolidated at Waterite’s Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada facility. Completion of the consolidation process should be by August of this year.

Debt restructured
According to Reuters, Watts Water Technologies entered into an amended credit agreement for a $350 million, five-year senior unsecured revolving credit facility. The facility, which may be increased to $500 million under certain circumstances, amends and restates the original credit agreement dated September 23, 2004.

Water units ready
Recent data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts the 2006 hurricane season could be as harsh or harsher than 2005. Last year, 15 of 28 named storms became full-blown hurricanes. This year NOAA is predicting 17 named storms with at least nine becoming hurricanes. Both Dick Jarvis, a volunteer from the Florida Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief Organization and Tim Dickson, an executive with Chemilizer Products, say they’re ready for anything this year. Chemilizer water restoration units are part of a portable water purification system deployed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Asset purchase
Mar Cor Purification, a subsidiary of Cantel Medical, expanded its water purification business by purchasing the assets of Fluid Solutions, Inc. Based in Lowell, Mass., Fluid Solutions designs, manufactures, installs and services high-quality, high-purity water systems, including service deionization (SDI) for use in biotech, pharmaceutical, research, hospitals, semiconductor and other high-technology environments. Mar Cor will retain Fluid Solutions employees, including President Brian Hagopian.

Canada

Modeling software selected
Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that the City of Trois-Rivières, Canada, has selected Bentley’s water resources modeling software to support the operation and management of the city’s newly consolidated infrastructure. Due to recent mergers among six municipalities in Quebec, the water, sewer and storm drainage networks of the City of Trois-Rivières encompass nearly 2,000 kilometers of piping. To successfully operate and manage these independently designed networks as a single massive entity, the city needed to seamlessly integrate data from the three and their diverse databases to develop accurate hydraulic models in order to meet the new water management requirements imposed by Quebec’s Environment Quality Act.

Mexico

Exclusive dealership in Mexico
Pure1 Systems announced the addition of Cool Geisser®, a division of Office Services International Group, México D.F., as the exclusive dealer for its products in the State of Mexico and the Federal District in Mexico. The exclusive dealership is part of new programs developed by Pure1 Systems to improve the servicing of users throughout the world. Dealers receive equipment to jump-start their business, marketing support with customer driven literature, direct mail pieces and DVD selling and technical training and territorial exclusivity.

U.K.

Bottled water growth expected
U.K. bottled water sales rose 5.3 percent to 2,170 million liters in 2005, translating into almost £1,600 million of retail value, according to the 15th Annual UK Bottled Water Report from Zenith International. Still water in single-serve bottles for on-the-go consumption and multi-pack formats in U.K. supermarkets again provided the main impetus, advancing by eight percent. Including volume through water coolers, still water claimed an overall 87 percent share. Natural mineral water remains the preferred water type, adding 52 million liters in 2005 to account for 66 percent of the total.

Europe

Antimony (Sb) in PET bottles
In a recent press release, the University of Heidelberg reported that Prof. William Shotyk and co-workers at the Institute of Environmental Geochemistry, University of Heidelberg, measured the abundance of antimony in 15 brands of bottled water from Canada and 48 from across Europe. Pristine groundwater from a rural region of Canada, three brands of deionized water in PET bottles, as well as a new brand of water from Canada bottled commercially in polypropylene were tested. The pristine groundwater was found to contain only two parts per trillion of Sb, with the bottled waters typically showing values a few hundred times greater.

Africa

A water war in Somalia
According to the Washington Post, villagers call it the ‘War of the Well’, a battle that erupted between two clans over control of a watering hole in the dusty, drought-stricken trading town of Rabdore, Somalia. By the time it ended two years later, 250 men were dead. Now there are well widows, warlords and warriors. In Somalia, a well is as precious as a town bank, controlled by warlords and guarded with weapons. During the region’s relentless three-year drought, water has become a resource worth fighting and dying over.

Middle East

Position strengthened with contracts
Aquatech International Corporation recently received several water treatment contracts for projects in the HPI/CPI industry in the Middle East, for supplying demineralization and condensate polishing units to projects in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and for a water treatment system in Kuwait.

Australia

Poll highlights concerns
Australians get top marks for recycling and their concern over the country’s water crisis, a new international poll has found, according to The Australian. The survey, conducted by market intelligence solutions provider Global Market Insite Inc. (GMIC), compared the environmental attitudes of 9,000 people from nine countries—the U.K., France, Germany, the U.S., Russia, Canada, Brazil, China and Australia.

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