Dow Water Solutions has reached a multi-year joint development partnership with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and University of Texas at Austin. Under the agreement, Dow Water Solutions will collaborate with them on the research and development of oxidation-resistant reverse osmosis membranes.

MIOX Corporation announced that DCM, an international venture capital firm, has led a series C investment round totaling USD 19 million with participation from existing investors Sierra Ventures and Flywheel Ventures. The investment will accelerate market expansion and development of applications that address the need for affordable potable water.

Trojan Technologies announced it has acquired R-Can Environmental Inc., a leading manufacturer of ultraviolet equipment in residential water disinfection applications. The combined entity will operate as a strategic business unit of Trojan Technologies.

North America

California city bucks ban trend

Woodland, CA hasn’t bought into in the softener ban fervor sweeping through the state. According to the Daily Democrat, city staff is in the process of determining an appropriate salt management plan before Assembly Bill AB2270 regulations can be put in place, if approved by Gov. Schwarzenegger. The city has extremely hard water water with high mineral content (at about 25 grains per gallon) and extensively uses water softeners that are chloride and sodium-based. A city mandate might require all new construction to use alternative softeners, such as potassium-based systems. About 17 percent of salt found in the wastewater treatment plant’s water is the result of softeners, Public Works Director Greg Meyer said. The majority of the salt content, however, about 59 percent, is from the city’s groundwater source.

Arsenic-diabetes link probed

Trace amounts of naturally occurring arsenic seem to be contributing to Type 2 diabetes —and endangering some Americans without their knowledge, experts say. According to US News and World Report, Johns Hopkins researchers found that the risk of diabetes for Americans with the highest inorganic arsenic loads in their urine is more than three times the risk for those with the lowest arsenic loads. This buttresses previous research in animals that shows exposure to arsenic increases blood glucose and insulin levels. It’s also consistent with studies from Taiwan, Bangladesh and Mexico that link high levels of arsenic to diabetes. The new study examined inorganic arsenic exposure in a representative sample of Americans nationwide. (Organic arsenic, which is found in seafood, is not thought to pose a health risk.) The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

WQA news

More than fifty people from nearly three dozen companies gathered in Mumbai, India, in August for WQA’s Task Force in India session, focused largely on consumer and industry needs in the region. Members of the task force will examine WQA operational methods to determine which elements can be used and modified for India. A sub-task force, headed by Nimish Shah of Unilever, will make a comprehensive study of the need, timing, and the extent of participation in this effort by Bureau of Indian Standards. Two separate sub-task forces, education chaired by Subramaiam of Everything About Water and communication, chaired by R. S. Rajan of Ion Exchange India, were established to further investigate these subject matters and report to the full task force. The full task force, chaired by Govind Bommi of Filtrex International, is supported by Vice Chairs Vikram Surendran of Unilever and Marzin Shroff of Eureka Forbes. WQA Technical Consultant Regu P. Regunathan acted as staff support; Tom Palkon, Director of Certification at WQA, also played a leading role. The task force will next meet in January 2009 in New Delhi.

US EPA news

US EPA is seeking comment on an Information Collection Request (ICR) to be used in a detailed study of unused pharmaceutical disposal methods by hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices and veterinary hospitals. The agency is seeking more information on health care industry practices to inform future potential regulatory actions and identify best management and proper disposal practices. US EPA is also expanding a recent fish tissue pilot study; developing a methodology to establish water quality criteria to protect aquatic life and conducting studies to examine the potential occurrence of PPCPs in sewage sludge and wastewater. The agency is also participating in an international effort with the World Health Organization to study appropriate risk assessment methods for pharmaceuticals as environmental contaminants. US EPA will accept public comments on the Health Care Industry ICR for 90 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

NSF news

After recent plumbing industry requests, NSF expanded services for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) water main piping to evaluate and certify PVC pipes that meet the performance requirements of UL 1285: Pipe and Couplings, PVC for Underground Fire Service. Included are PVC and molecular oriented polyvinyl chloride (PVCO) pressure pipe, couplings and gaskets for use in underground fire service systems and connections to such systems. PVC pipe manufacturer, Sanderson Pipe Corporation, is the first client to be certified to UL 1285 by the new program.

NSF received the Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification for its recent laboratory expansion. The LEED Green Building Rating System is the nationally-accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED provides building operators and owners with the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance.  Some of these practices include sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Second Pepperl+Fuchs office opened

Pepperl+Fuchs announced the opening of its new US-based office, located in the Clay Crossing Business Center at 4321 West Sam Houston Parkway N, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77043. The state-of-the-art training facility will provide local technical support, hands-on training, real-world application demos, video conferencing and an experienced and knowledgeable staff. Industry professionals are invited to tour the facility, meet the staff, see product demonstrations and learn about the latest technologies in process automation. For information, call (713) 849-1150.

WFP-ITT philanthropic venture

ITT Corporation announced a new corporate philanthropy program, ITT Watermark, which includes an initial three-year, three million dollar commitment to help provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene education to 300 schools in the developing. The company will work through its strategic partner, Water For People, to improve water and sanitation conditions in schools in Latin America and Asia. During the balance of 2008, ITT will support 50 schools. It will extend its support to an additional 100 schools in 2009 and another 150 in 2010.

McDermott and Noritz partnership announced

The A.I. McDermott Company of Oshkosh, WI has partnered with Noritz America as an authorized distributor of its extensive tankless line of gas water heaters in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Northern Illinois. Noritz produces over 17 different tankless water heater models for residential, commercial and agricultural markets.

Technology featured in winning poster

A research poster entitled Novel Strategies for the Characterization of Mixed-Oxidant Solutions for Drinking Water Disinfection won first place in the Water Science & Research Best Poster competition at ACE 2008 in Atlanta, GA. The four University of North Carolina researchers (Sara Rodriguez-Mozaz, Howard S. Weinberg, Ana M. Saenz de Jubera and Alison C. Sykes) who authored the poster partnered with MIOX Corporation as part of a Homeland Security Small Business Innovative Research grant program designed to advance inherently safer technologies to chlorine gas. Selection criteria for the award included quality of the research, significance of the research with respect to water supply and treatment and presentation skills.

Merger/acquisition firm announced

Lovell Global Holdings, LLC and Edward C. Gregor & Associates, LLC have linked their respective expertise and businesses to facilitate mergers and acquisitions in the filtration industry. The organization’s objective is to provide services for small to medium size companies having annual sales between $5 million and $300 million.

Pool technology updated

Calsaway Pool Services Inc. of Phoenix, AZ launched a new pool technology that eliminates the need to drain pools for treatment. The process takes about 3-4 hours to filter out calcium, TDS, salts, cyanuric acid and phosphates. The company’s previous chemical and mechanical process (see WC&P July 2007) conserved 6.5 million gallons of the region’s water over the last year and is best suited for extremely high levels of calcium in pools and green algae-filled pools.

CSA certification program created

CSA International announced a newly created program to test and certify products to the requirements of the new CAN/CSA B483 Drinking Water Treatment Systems standard. Effective in August, this certification program will be available to assist manufacturers in demonstrating compliance to the new 2009 Canadian Building Code and the new Quebec Plumbing Code, which both reference CSA B483.

HI seeking qualified standards reviewers

The Hydraulic Institute (HI) is seeking qualified individuals in North America to participate in the review process for the draft of updated standard ANSI/HI 3.6, Rotary Pump Test that applies to industrial/commercial rotary positive displacement pumps. It includes detailed procedures on the setup and conduct of mechanical and performance tests of such pumps but does not include vibration or acoustical testing. Interested individuals and organizations directly and materially affected by this standard who wish to participate should contact Technical Affairs Administrator Karen Anderson via email, [email protected] or call (973) 267-9700 x23.

CDC joins US EPA program

The CDC recently became the first federal agency to join US EPA’s WaterSense campaign. Director, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH and US EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles, signed the agreement during the American Water Works Association Annual conference in Atlanta, GA.

Ground water grants announced

Three research grants recently awarded by the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation totaling $12,500 will further study in the areas of public health, ground water resource management and climate change. The selected projects are Database Independent Microbial Source Tracking to Determine the Source of Fecal Pollution in Ground Water, Determination of 4Helium Release Rates for Dating Old Ground Water in a Carbonate Aquifer and Interactions Between Fire, Vegetation, Climate, and Ground Water in a Burned Ponderosa Pine/Gambel’s Oak Watershed.


World Water Week a huge success

The Stockholm International Water Institute’s World Water Week program featured nearly 2500 top experts from business, government, water management, science, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, training institutes and United Nations agencies. The overall theme of the event, Progress and Prospects on Water: For A Clean and Healthy World with Special Focus on Sanitation, addressed wide variety of critical water-related topics. A number of new reports were released while plenary sessions, panel debates, social events and facility tours were held. In addition, prizes and awards were presented for outstanding efforts that are already improving the water environment, bringing water and basic sanitation to those in need and increasing knowledge of water through groundbreaking research.

LANXESS headquarters moving

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS AG announced plans to move its headquarters from Leverkusen to Cologne, Germany. Relocation is to be completed by 2011. The company is in discussions with the city of Cologne to identify possible sites. Key management functions at LANXESS are currently located in a number of buildings throughout the Leverkusen Chempark; these functions are to be consolidated under one roof at the new headquarters building.

Middle East

Whitewater acquisitions announced

The Whitewater Technology Group, an Israeli-based water management company, has acquired Whitewater Security (water security), Galcon Computerized Control Systems (water controllers), Checklight (monitoring) and Whitewater Well (water drilling). The firm, focused on the achievement of a comprehensive solution critical concerns about the uninterrupted supply of sufficient amounts of clean, safe water, will exhibit its innovative solutions at WEFTEC in Chicago, IL.


New nano-treatment option

University of South Australia (UniSA) scientists have discovered a simple way to remove bacteria and other contaminants from water using tiny particles of pure silica coated with an active nano-material. Testing of the active particles demonstrated they could remove pathogens such as the Polio virus, bacteria such as E. coli and waterborne parasite Cryptosporidium parvum. According to Peter Majewski, Professor of Nanotechnology and Nanomanufacturing, major benefits include easy-to-use chemical and physical treatment processes and use of recyclable non-toxic base materials that will reduce treatment costs, especially in desalination applications.

Filtrex gains ISO certification

Filtrex Technologies Pvt Ltd, a Division of Filtrex Holdings, Singapore was recently awarded ISO 14001 certification. The certification indicates the company has systems and practices in place to ensure the entire manufacturing operation is environmentally clean. The company’s process focuses on reduce, reuse and recycle aspects and it is believed to be the first carbon block manufacturer to secure the certification.

Dow technology in China

The city of Beijing undertook massive projects to provide an adequate and safe water supply for the Olympic Games, including diverting water from reservoirs and the Yellow River and building 14 wastewater treatment plants. In addition, three water reuse projects are under way, employing more than 5,000 FILMTEC eight-inch diameter RO membrane elements from Dow Water Solutions. The membranes will help treat 45,000 m3/day of water in three sites – BeiXiaoHe Wastewater Treatment Plant, Beijing International Airport and the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area – and will help the city realize its goal to reuse 50 percent of its water.

USAID, IWA and ADB partner in Asia

The US Agency for International Development, theInternational Water Association and the Asian Development Bank agreed to establish an Asia-wide partnership, WaterLinks, to help provide clean drinking water and sanitation throughout the region. The organizations will coordinate, promote and align efforts to create Water Operators Partnerships (WOPs), which have proven their value by successfully pairing, or twinning, water operators in search of solutions with other operators who have addressed similar challenges. WaterLinks currently operates as an unofficial collaborative network of development partners, although plans are underway to create a permanent secretariat in the near future.


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