North America

Grainger Challenge finalists announced

Two firms familiar to WC&P readers have been announced as finalists in the Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability, out of a field of more than 70 participants. The winner will be announced later this year. A prize of $1,000,000 will be awarded for the esign and creation of a workable, sustainable, economical, point of use (POU) water treatment system for arsenic-contaminated groundwater in developing countries. Rohm and Haas Company presented its household scale potable water treatment system that uses locally available modified limestone; ADA entered a simple, inexpensive one-bucket-at-a-time treatment method. WC&P wishes the best of luck to all competitors.

Pentair news

Directors of Pentair, Inc., recently approved an increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend of approximately seven percent, or one cent per share, effective for all quarterly dividends payable in 2007. The new quarterly cash dividend rate – $0.15 per share compared to the previous rate of $0.14 per share – represents Pentair’s 31st consecutive annual dividend increase. In addition, the company announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Jung Pumpen, a leading German manufacturer of wastewater products for the municipal and residential markets. Completion of the transaction, subject to approval, is expected early this year. No additional terms were disclosed.

Plumbing program established

American Water’s In-Home Plumbing Emergency Program (IHPP) has reached a milestone of 500,000 subscribers. The program, available to existing American Water customers and those enrolled in the company’s water and sewer line protection programs, covers plumbing emergency repairs for leaks or breaks to the water line and clogs or blockages to the sewer line that occur within the home and are caused by normal wear and tear.

Crypto removal product approved

SeaKlear has received US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) approval for use of its (patent-pending) Particle Removal System (PRS) product as a viable means of enhanced filtration to effectively trap cryptosporidium. Studies conducted by Auburn University showed a 99.9 percent reduction when using the product.

PET technology advances

According to the Soft Drink Letter, Eastman Chemical Co. introduced a new generation of PET resin that offers enhanced bottle clarity, product purity, production and supply chain efficiencies and significant environmental benefits. The ParaStar resin is a drop-in replacement for standard PET on bottle manufacturing equipment and is 100 percent recyclable with traditional PET resins.

US EPA news

The agency announced the first Water Efficiency Leader (WEL) Awards winners. Candidates were divided into six categories and winners were determined by three criteria: leadership, innovation and water saved. A panel of national water experts selected TOTO USA (large corporation/industry); New York State Funeral Directors Association (organization/teams/ associations); Southern Nevada Water Authority’s Water Smart Program (utilities/water districts); Bill Sartor (individual) and State of Florida’s Water Reuse Program (government/military) to receive the top honors.

A final version of the Ultraviolet Disinfection Guidance Manual for the Final Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule has been released. The manual provides guidance on selection, design, installation, testing, startup, operation, maintenance, monitoring, recording and reporting of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection to comply with treatment requirements under the rule.

In other news, the agency has launched a new interactive quiz, Test Your WaterSense. Players must maneuver water-efficiency hero Hydro through a maze while avoiding water-wasting monsters Sogosaurus and Drainiac, to test knowledge about water-use behaviors and common water-saving opportunities. To take the test, go to

NSF certifications and radon news

NSF recently granted two firms certification under NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects. Poly Processing Company gained recognition as the only manufacturer in North America certified for chemical storage tanks. MIOX Corporation received certification for its high capacity onsite chlorine generators, including hypochlorite and mixed-oxidant product lines. That certification adds to those MIOX holds for small- and medium-capacity chlorine generators and oxidant solution tanks ranging from 55 to 5,000 gallons.

NSF reported that radon (a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the ground) is a potential threat in drinking water. No current federal regulation exists but regulators are contemplating a requirement for public utilities to provide water with radon levels no higher than 4,000 pCi/L. At this concentration, US EPA estimates the water would be expected to contribute about 0.4 pCi/L of radon to indoor air. For more information, contact the Radon Hotline (1-800-SOS-RADON) or visit the US EPA website at

Technology driving market growth

In a recent research report, Ultrafiltration, Microfiltration and Reverse Osmosis Technology, Frost & Sullivan predicted that use of novel membrane materials holds the key to development of these technologies. As a result of rapid adoption of membrane water treatment in the municipal market and a promising future of membrane-based seawater desalination, the market is projected to grow at an average rate of 7.2 percent annually until 2010, when it is expected to reach an annual revenue of $520 million.

Hanovia upgrades

UV disinfection specialist Hanovia has introduced dramatic improvements in production quality and lead-time at its UV lamp shop by using Lean Manufacturing tools and improved measurement systems. Manufacturing lead times for spare UV lamps have been reduced by as much as 30 percent, enhancing quality and service levels. The majority of Hanovia’s customers use the lamps in process-critical applications.

Pool and Spa Expo attendance record

The sixth International Pool & Spa Expo, held late last year in Las Vegas, Nev., recorded a 13 percent increase in attendees and exhibits over the 2005 event. With 2,782 booths spread over 278,276 square feet, the exhibit hall was the largest in the show’s history. A total of 766 companies featured an array of products and services from all 50 states and 76 countries. The 2007 International Pool & Spa Expo/Backyard Living Expo will be held November 28-30, 2007, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. 

Latin America

Nestle expands distribution network

Bloomberg reported that Nestle SA has signed a letter of intent with Corona beer owner Grupo Modelo SA to use the brewer’s distribution network for selling bottled water in Mexico. Nestle currently sells water under Santa Maria and Perrier brands in Mexico and now controls 15 percent of that retail market.

Arkansas firm exporting water to Mexico

Instead of exporting jobs to Mexico, as many companies have done, Arkansas-based Mountain Valley Spring Water wants to send its products there, the International Herald Tribute reported. The company appears poised to enter the Mexican market this year with its premium bottled Hot Springs water. The product won’t find its way into every store, however; the planned target is a growing resort market and high-end retailers. Mountain Valley is also exploring export options to China, Europe and other nations.


EWA celebrates anniversary

The European Water Association (EWA), founded in 1981, celebrated its silver jubilee last November. The organization was originally established as the European Water Pollution Control Association (EWPCA); delegates from11 European national associations decided to exchange their experience and knowledge through an independent international association. Today, EWA is one of the most important technical and scientific associations in the water sector.

EAS indefinitely delayed

The Water Quality Association (WQA) reported that the European Commission appears to have removed responsibility for setting standards for materials that come into contact with drinking water from the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). The policy decree indefinitely delays development of the European Acceptance Standard (EAS). CEN is currently deliberating on this recent development and is attempting to enter into discussions with the Commission to find a better solution. In the meantime, material safety testing standards in Europe will remain status quo.

Vortex joines Cool Chili

Vortex Corporation and European water products distributor Cool Chili announced their partnership to develop and deliver advanced commercial water products to Europe. Cool Chili will be the exclusive commercial distributor of water-cooler products in 10 markets, including Norway, France, Germany and Spain. The companies will jointly develop direct-feed and bottled water coolers for commercial applications throughout Europe. The co-branded water coolers are expected to reach market in May 2007.

Flowserve opens HQ in Germany

Flowserve Corp. opened new administrative headquarters in Essen, Germany for Flow Solutions Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMA) operations. The facility houses a Quick Response Center (QRC) and a Learning Resource Center (LRC). The QRC provides customers with local access to spare parts inventory, repair, quick turnaround manufacturing, CAD design and technical services for sealing requirements. It also manufactures pump seals, mixer seals and piston rod packing rings for large reciprocating compressors. The LRC offers best-practices maintenance training programs for pumps and seals for employees and customers.


P&G joins Ethiopia project

Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Chlorine Chemistry Division joined Save The Children US and Population Services International (PSI) to deliver P&G’s PUR® water purification product to schools in Ethiopia. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), more than half the world’s schools do not have safe water, hygiene and sanitation.


Siemens expands Asia presence

Siemens Water Technologies announced that it will be investing $32 million (S$50 million) over the next five years in a global water R&D and engineering center in Singapore. It plans to expand its Singapore location into a competence center for water and used water technologies in the Asia-Pacific region. The new center will employ 60 local and foreign water researchers and professionals. In addition, the firm also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PUB, Singapore’s national water agency to collaborate on water R&D projects. Together, the two organizations will work on innovative water solutions through R&D, test bedding and early adoption of new technologies.


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