B&H Labeling Systems announced the expansion of its Mexico operation, B H Labeling Mexico S. de R. L. de C.V., created to provide in-country service, spare parts and training in the local currency. ?
Calgon Carbon Corporation was awarded a contract by Tong Hsin Water Business Inc. to supply approximately 3.2 million pounds of granular activated carbon to the Fong Shan Water Plant in Taiwan. ?
PHSI announced the BONaqua brand name has been changed to Purlogix™ and is now a separate division of the company. Since early 2006, all of the firms products have been manufactured at their ISO 9001 state-of-the-art facility in Pyeongtac City, Korea. ?
The National Ground Water Association’s 21st Century Ground Water Systems Conference will be held Oct. 12-13, 2006, in Costa Mesa, Calif. It will target planning for future ground water systems and focus on areas with special emphasis on the use of groundwater resources. ?
The Dow Chemical Company completed the acquisition of Zhejiang Omex Environmental Engineering Co. Ltd. in Beijing, China. ?
Alco Chemical announced price increases on its aqueous polymers and rheology modifier product lines, effective Aug. 1, 2006. The price increases, ranging from five to seven percent, are due to continued increases in raw material and energy costs. ?
Abstract submission for WEFTEC.07 is now open. A topic list, sample abstracts and general abstract review criteria are available at www.weftec.org. Submissions are due by Dec. 1, 2006. ?
Register now for the Drinking Water Research Foundation 2006 Golf Tournament, held in conjunction with the 2006 IBWA Convention and Trade Show. Use the website, www.dwrf.info. The tournament will be held at the Painted Desert Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 3, 2006. ?
Parker-ATO, formerly Atlantic Tubing, recently relocated to 4700 Lone Star Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas, 76106. Contact numbers remain unchanged: phone (800) 423-6551; fax (800) 438-9562). Orders may also be placed with the Ravenna, Ohio office at (330) 296-2871. ?
The International Bottled Water Association’s Convention and Trade Show at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., will feature Jason Jennings as keynote speaker. His presentation will take place during the General Session on Thursday, October 5, 2006. ?
Calgon patent declared invalid
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled on a summary judgment motion that Calgon Carbon Corporation’s patent for the use of UV light to prevent infection from Cryptospo-ridium in drinking water is invalid. The company intends to vigorously appeal the ruling. Calgon Carbon appealed a similar ruling handed down by a Canadian Federal Court in 2005 and the lower court’s ruling was reversed. That case is still pending and offers no assurance that the same result will be obtained on the U.S. decision.
IBWA schedule released
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) released its schedule for educational sessions to be held during the 2006 IBWA Convention and Trade Show at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada from Oct. 3-6, 2006. The association’s certified sessions provide the continuing education units (CEUs) required for Certified Plant Operator accreditation and provide innovative ideas and technologies specifically targeted to the bottled water industry. For more about the educational sessions and other information about the convention, visit the website at http://www.bottled water. org/public/conv2006 or call (703) 683-5213.
Innovations flood award competition
The Jury of the International Aquatech Innovation Award (IAIA) announced that a record number of innovations have been entered for the award. Amsterdam RAI, organizer of the competition, received 90 products from 81 companies. The award is given for the most innovative product on display at Aqua-tech Amsterdam 2006 (Sept. 26-29), the world’s leading trade exhibition on process, drinking and wastewater. The record number of entries for the competition emphasizes the highly innovative character of the show. The jury will announce the winner of the IAIA on Sept. 25.
Price increase announced
Dow Biocides, a business group of The Dow Chemical Company, announced a price increase for both list and off-list prices of its entire glutaraldehyde product portfolio of $0.010 cents per pound in North America and by 10 percent globally. The price increase became effective Sept. 1, 2006. Product trade names affected include GLUTEX™ sanitizers for animal housing biosecuri-ty, AQUCAR™ water treatment micro-biocides, UCARCIDE™ antimicrobial preservatives, UCARSAN™ sanitizers, UCONEX™ antimicrobials and ZOL-DINE™ oxazolidines. Glutaraldehyde is a common biocide that is frequently used as a disinfectant and sterilizing agent in a wide variety of markets and applications including high level disinfection and animal housing biosecurity.
News from U.S. EPA
States, territories and tribes will share more than $940 million (U.S.) from three U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant programs to support the quality and security of the nation’s drinking water. The water supplies for more than 270 million people will benefit from the funding. More than $837 million will support Drinking Water State Revolving Funds programs, which help finance infrastructure improvements to public water systems. Federal capitalization grants fund low-interest loans to public water systems. Eligible projects include upgrades to treatment facilities, certain storage facilities and distribution systems. Since the program began in 1997, public water systems have received more than $9 billion in low-interest loans. Concurrently, the agency has proposed allotting $841,500,000 in the proposed fiscal year 2007 budget.
The U.S. EPA also announced plans to tighten its rules on lead in drinking water. The proposed revisions affect the lead portions of the 1991 Lead and Copper Rule that required water utilities to reduce lead contamination by controlling the corrosiveness of water and, as needed, by replacing lead service lines used to carry water from the street to the home. The new proposal would revise monitoring requirements, clarify the timing of sample collection and tighten criteria for reducing the frequency of monitoring. It would also require that utilities receive state approval of treatment changes so that states can provide direction or require additional monitoring. Another aspect of the revision would require utilities to notify occupants of the results of any testing that occurs within a home or facility. In addition, systems would be required to reevaluate lead service lines (that may have previously been identified as low risk) after any major treatment changes that could affect corrosion control.
Illinois firm wins award
L.T.M. Water Treatment, Inc., of Loves Park, Ill. received Kinetico’s highly coveted Business Excellence Award for 2005, reported The Rock River Times. The award is presented to no more than 10 Kinetico dealers per year and only nine of 500 dealers met the qualifications this year. Criteria include excellence in customer service, overall business growth, market penetration, strong accounting practices, technical achievement and promotion of the Kinetico philosophy of efficiency and cost effectiveness in an environmentally friendly fashion. Gerald R. Guse, President, owner and founder of L.T.M., credited his talented and dedicated staff for qualifying for the award.
Ethos™ water distribution agreement
Starbucks Coffee Company and PepsiCo. signed a distribution agreement for Ethos water, reported CSRwire. The agreement significantly increases distribution to retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. By continuing to make a $0.05 donation for each bottle of Ethos water sold, both companies affirmed Starbucks’ contribution goal (set last year) to donate at least $10 million (U.S.) by the end of 2010 to help bring clean potable water to children around the world.
Nicotine water product questioned
The distributor of a new type of bottled water that contains nicotine (the addictive agent in cigarettes) said the product might soon be sold in Canada, reported CanWest News Service. The California-based seller says it is safe and non-addictive, but Dr. Daniel McGehee (a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago) disagrees, saying the product comes with risks. “There’s no question that nicotine has addictive effects. The addiction liability should be a major concern for anyone that decides to start taking it in any form,” he said. The water contains about two cigarettes worth of nicotine and is being sold as a dietary supplement in the U.S. even though the Food and Drug Administration recently said it’s an unapproved drug and its claim to be a supplement violates the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Jess Baker, Vice President of Sales for Nichonica, which markets the product, said the company is in the later stages of approval to sell nicotine water in Canada (see page 46).
CIPH sales higher in May
The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) released sales information that indicated May was the best month of 2006. May Monthly Wholesalers’ Sales Results reported year-to-date-sales total of $1.753 million (CDN), up 12.7 percent compared to year-to-date May in 2005. Total sales for the month of May 2006 were $423.8 million CDN ($380.48 million U.S.), up $83.7million CDN ($75.14 million U.S.) compared to April 2006 and up 14.8 percent compared to May 2005. All regions reported increases, with British Columbia, Alberta and West (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Thunderbay) leading the way.
Coolers on the rise
Almost 100,000 new point of use (POU) coolers were installed in Western Europe last year, taking the total above 400,000, according to the 2006 West Europe Point of Use Coolers report from beverage consultancy Zenith International. For the sixth consecutive year annual growth exceeded 30 percent. Office installations represented 60 percent of European activity; the remainder was mainly in factories, hospitals and schools. Home use is beginning to emerge as well. The U.K. remained the largest national market by some distance, accounting for 37 percent of all POU units. Italy and France ranked second and third, with shares of 13 percent and 12 percent respectively. Ireland and Germany completed the top five.
Food Production Daily reported Belu Natural Mineral Water began the rollout of the U.K.’s first biodegradable and compostable plastic bottle. Made from a corn-derived plastic provided by NatureWorks, a Cargill unit, the bottle can be commercially composted back to soil in 12 weeks (See Harvesting the Future, WC&P September 2005). Over the past year, packaging suppliers have introduced various forms of biodegradable plastics made from a variety of plants, mainly corn, based on projections that consumers and recycling regulations will drive demand for environmentally friendly packaging. Some companies are predicting that the market will grow by about 20 percent a year (see page 42).
Cytec sells operations to Kemira
Helsinki-based Kemira acquired the water treatment chemical operations of U.S. firm Cytec Industries for €190 million ($240.06 million U.S.) The transaction nearly doubles the turnover of its water treatment unit. As part of the deal, Kemira has purchased five production plants in the U.S., the Netherlands and the U.K. Cytec generated sales of around €270 million ($341.13 million U.S.) in 2005 and employs some 480 staff.
Meters for millions by 2015
Five million homes in the southeast should be forced to have water meters within nine years, say government advisors. According to the Daily Mail, the Environment Agency wants a blanket introduction of meters in order to ration consumption. The proposals, which amount to rationing by price, will cost £1 billion ($1.83 billion U.S.) to implement—costs that will be added to customers’ bills. Metering would mean higher bills for large families, while bills for pensioners and singles should fall. However, the National Consumer Council opposes any shift to compulsory meters without a dramatic improvement in the pathetic system for helping poorer families who would be hit by higher bills. The government is expected to support the idea, a U-turn for the Labor party that opposed compulsory metering before it came to power.
Aquatech lands contract
A consortium led by Aquatech International Corporation received a contract valued at over €58,974,000 ($75 million U.S.) from Enel, Italy’s largest power company. Projects will include engineering, procurement and construction of zero liquid discharge (ZLD) facilities at five of ENEL’s coal-fired power plants. The plants are located in Brindisi, Fusina, Sulcis, Torrevaldaliga and La Spezia, Italy. Aquatech formed a joint venture with its consortium partner, Carlo Gavazzi Impianti Spa, (CGI), under the name Zenit S.c.ar.l. The projects will be implemented over two years and will also include an option for operations and maintenance of the facilities. The award signifies Aquatech’s second major win in zero liquid discharge (ZLD) for flue gas desulphurization waste market in less than six months.
Water not available to all
It was reported by The Tanzania Standard that the provision of potable water to all Tanzanians remains an elusive goal despite concerted effort by successive governments. Running water, in particular, is a luxury for many in both urban and rural areas. According to the Minister for Water, Stephen Wassira, the established water supply networks cover less than 54 percent of demand. People still have to walk long distances to the supply points and there is no guarantee for quality and availability. The government has launched a new drive to speed up development of water schemes throughout the country. Wassira said the program would see supply rising to 67 percent in the next five years.
World Bank funds Angola projects
The World Bank has made a total of $7.2 million (U.S.) available to the Angola Water and Energy Ministry for rehabilitation and extension of the drinking water supply network in the urban area of Malange City, reported the Angola Press Agency. In the first phase, the water transport system to the urban area will be rehabilitated. Plans to build an additional 41 kilometers (25.48 miles) of infrastructure are included.
GE drops bid on desal plant
Haaretz reported that corporate giant General Electric withdrew from the contest to build a major desalination plant in Hadera, just hours before the tender deadline expired. The decision was a blow to the Finance and Infrastructure Ministries because only two contestants remain. GE had been considered a strong contender, possibly the strongest. The Finance Ministry said that it could not comment on a tender in process. Sources close to the tender committee blamed GE’s withdrawal on the government’s failure to respond to the American company’s request to postpone the deadline or even to bring the request up for discussion. Of the remaining contenders, one consortium includes a partnership between IDE Technologies and Housing and Construction (Shikun U’Binui). The other consortium pairs Israeli companies Granite Hacarmel Investments, Tahal Consulting and Ocif Investment and Development with Spanish firms Inima and Aquila.
China and Southeast Asia
Science disputes health benefits claim
The Standard reported that claims made by water treatment device manufacturers that the products can bring special health benefits or alleviate chronic diseases are scientifically invalid, according to the Consumer Council, which condemned the claims as irresponsible. The Department of Health urged consumers not to believe such assertions and advised them to never delay proper medical treatment. “We’ve checked five water treatment devices ranging from $3,000 HK ($385.81 U.S.) to $6,000 HK ($771.62 U.S.) with amazing health claims (water of smaller molecule clusters, activated water, healthy water, vitality water and alkaline ionic water),” said council spokesman Larry Kwok Lam-kwong. “We found them misleading.” A survey conducted by the council found that treated water could not alleviate symptoms and has no curative effect on chronic diseases.
Development programs announced
Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council (RIEC) announced commitment of $1.4 billion SGD ($889 million U.S.) over the next five years to fund the development of three research programs: Biomedical Sciences Phase II; Environmental & Water Technologies and Interactive and Digital Media. With the three sectors, Singapore hopes to create a total of 86,000 jobs and $30 billion SGD ($19 billion U.S.) of value for its economy by 2015. In addition, RIEC approved establishing an international Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) to foster joint research programs with the world’s top universities and Singapore-based research institutes. In conjunction with the new program, the Environment and Water Industry Development Council (EWI) was launched to spearhead growth of the industries, with research and development as the main driver. The organization will help Singapore become a global hub for business, investment, research and technology in the environmental and water sectors. The EWI plan will double jobs to 11,000 and triple value and investment in the water industry to $1.7 billion SGD ($1.1 billion U.S.) by 2015.
Packaged drinking water standards amended
The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister announced amendment of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules 1955, reported the Press Information Bureau. Standards for packaged drinking water (sea, underground and surface water sources) are affected by the action. Under the amendment, water derived from any source may be disinfected by means of chemical agents and/or physical methods to reduce the number of microorganisms to a level that does not compromise food safety or suitability, provided that seawater, before being subjected to the above treatments, would be subjected to desalination and related processes.