By Latasha Williams

The Water Quality Association (WQA) is an international trade association representing the residential, commercial, industrial and small community water treatment industry. WQA is both a resource and an information source; an educator for professionals; a voice for the industry; an ANSI-accredited product certification body; a laboratory for product testing and a communicator to the public. WQA maintains a constant dialogue with organizations representing different aspects of the water industry in order to best serve consumers, government officials and industry members. Today, WQA is extending its hand yet again.

WQA is working to establish the Indian Chapter Task Force in India. WQA’s Director of Product Certification, Thomas Palkon, initiated this effort with WQA’s Technical Services Consultant Regu P. Regunathan, Ph.D. continuing and monitoring the effort with Dr. Abhay Kumar of Eureka Forbes Limited, Bangalore, as Vice Chair and Govind Bommi of Filtrex International Pte. Ltd., Singa-pore, as Chair to jump start this project.

Objectives

  • Review local government testing standards and regulations.
  • Launch local lobbying efforts.
  • Broaden consumer education.
  • Recruit new companies to attend the task force meetings.
  • Create solutions to eliminate the misuse of registered trademarks important for domestic and international companies).
  • Administer Professional Certification Exams.
  • Introduce WQA’s trade shows to companies in India.
  • Enhance credibility.
  • Promote product certification.
  • Marketplace protection.
  • Increase consumer awareness of the POU industry and its role of improving drinking water throughout the world.

The Indian Chapter Task Force will be responsible for developing this agenda and coming together a minimum of once a year to meet at the task Force chair’s facility or at a local trade show to discuss the agenda and the concerns of the Indian water industry manufacturers. Some already-recognized concerns are local testing standards and regulations, consumer education, certifying products in the U.S., promoting and implementing certification of sales and installation personnel, promoting as well as protecting the POU/POE industry in India. A WQA representative will be present at each meeting to take minutes and ensure the meeting is conducted in accordance with WQA policies.

Membership requirements

  • Your company must have a presence in India.
  • Your company must be willing to participate on the task force for two years.

Benefits of participation

Enhanced credibility
Water treatment professionals can enhance their credibility and demonstrate their depth of knowledge and experience to both customers and employers through WQA’s professional certification program.

Marketplace protection
WQA supports its members’ initiatives and protects their interests through regulatory intervention and legislative support. As the voice of the water quality industry, WQA provides leadership and influence at all regulatory levels to benefit the industry and consumers without restricting trade. WQA serves as a resource and partner to members seeking help on legislative issues. WQA has knowledge, expertise and contacts to assist members in promoting favorable legislation and combating initiatives that might adversely affect the water industry businesses.

Product certification
WQA encourages all products to be certified by accredited third-party certifiers in all countries. WQA also operates an American National Standards Institute accredited product certification program and is dedicated to the certification of drinking water and related products. WQA Gold Seal differentiates certified products from uncertified products in a competitive marketplace.

The power of becoming a WQA and Indian Chapter Task Force Member
Become a member and receive one free, full conference package to the WQA Aquatech USA show in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 25-29, 2008 (a US$320 value). Also receive a credit coupon good toward WQA purchases including select publications, convention registration, certification exams, booth space, etc. The coupon will be mailed to you upon receipt of a completed application. (No refund for cash—valid for one year)

The inaugural meeting is open to WQA international members and non-members. During the inaugural meeting, the chair will introduce those already involved with the Task Force and provide an update of activities to date. We will establish membership and review the roll of the task force members, the needs of the Indian water industry manufacturers and how the task force can work toward resolving their problems, a question and answer session and to schedule the second meeting. WQA staff will review the steps to a successful ANSI-accredited product certification and how to become a Water Quality Association Member.

Please plan on joining us at the Indian Chapter Task Force inaugural meeting. The anticipated inaugural meeting will take place, November/December 2007. For details and additional information, contact Tom Palkon via email at tpalkon@wqa.org or phone at (630) 505-0160 or you may contact Dr. Regu Regunathan via email at regu5@ yahoo. com or phone at (630) 505-0160.

About the author
Latasha Williams is the Assistant to the Director of Product Certification for the Water Quality Association’s Gold Seal Program. Latasha has worked for the Water Quality Association for three years and has successfully completed the Certified Water Specialist Program earning the title of CWS-III. Latasha can be contacted at WQA by telephone (630) 505-0160 ext. 536, facsimile (630) 505-0752 or email lwilliams@mail.wqa.org.

 

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