North America

WQA response to media reports

Two new reports from mainstream media have prompted the Water Quality Association to issue its own recommendations for safe water supplies. In a series by The New York, which indicated that 10 percent of Americans face dangerous drinking water, well-water safety and the enforcement of clean water legislation were brought into sharper focus. The Associated Press reported negatively on the safety of school water supplies across the US. At issue were the number of affected schools – nearly one of every five schools with its own water supply violated the Safe Drinking Water Act in the past decade, with lead and other toxins found. WQA issued statements in response to both, urging consumers and school administrators to consider installing filter treatment systems as final contaminant barriers in these at-risk supplies.

US EPA contaminants list released

US EPA is releasing its third list of drinking water contaminants that are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems and may require regulation. The agency will continue to evaluate and collect data on the contaminants and determine by 2013 (for some of them) whether or not to propose drinking water regulations. The contaminant candidate list (CCL 3) includes 104 chemical contaminants or groups and 12 microbes. For those CCL 3 contaminants that lack sufficient information for a regulatory determination by 2013, US EPA will encourage research to provide the information needed.

Showerheads harbor contaminants

While daily bathroom showers provide invigorating relief and a good cleansing for millions of Americans, they also can deliver a face full of potentially pathogenic bacteria, according to a surprising new University of Colorado at Boulder study. Researchers used high-tech instruments and lab methods to analyze roughly 50 showerheads from nine cities in seven states, including New York City, Chicago and Denver. They concluded about 30 percent of the devices harbored significant levels of Mycobacterium avium, a pathogen linked to pulmonary disease that most often infects people with compromised immune systems but which can occasionally infect healthy people. Noted Distinguished Professor Norman Pace, lead study author, “since plastic showerheads appear to load up with more pathogen-enriched biofilms, metal showerheads may be a good alternative.”

Water disinfection in space

University of Utah chemists have developed a two-minute water quality monitoring method that just started six months of tests aboard the International Space Station. The new method involves sampling space station or space shuttle galley water with syringes, forcing the water through a chemical-imbued disk-shaped membrane, and then reading the color of the membrane with a commercially available, handheld color sensor normally used to measure the color and glossiness of automobile paint. As a spinoff, the test is being modified so it can quickly check water for the level of arsenic – a natural pollutant in places like Bangladesh and the US Southwest and Northeast – and it can be adapted to quickly, inexpensively test for other pollutants.

Desal go-ahead in Carlsbad

Poseidon Resources announced it has reached an agreement with the California Coastal Commission that will ensure the timely construction of the Carlsbad Desalination Project (Project). Assembly Bill 1570, urgency legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Mary Salas and co-authored by the entire San Diego delegation to extend the Project’s Coastal Development Permit (CDP) one year – will be withdrawn and in exchange, the Coastal Commission has agreed to process the permit before the November 15 deadline.

Wilkins certified by NSF

As of January 1, 2010, new lead content requirements in California (commonly known as AB 1953) will mandate a maximum weighted average lead content of ≤ 0.25 percent for plumbing products. NSF International announced that Wilkins, a Zurn Company, is the first backflow preventer manufacturer certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components — Health Effects and Annex G low-lead requirements. Manufacturers of backflow preventers for potable water service, faucets, valves, water fittings, and other products that come in contact with drinking water must meet the new lead requirements, as set forth in the California Health and Safety Code, by January 1, 2010.

MIOX honored at Cleantech Forum

MIOX Corporation has been named a Global Cleantech 100 company by Guardian News and Media and Cleantech Group™, LLC. Approximately 3,500 companies were nominated/considered. MIOX received the award on the basis of its innovative on-site water disinfection technology that uses salt, water and power to provide safe, healthy affordable water without the use of hazardous chemicals. More than half (56) of the companies listed are headquartered in North America, while European firms make up 36 percent. Five firms are based in Israel and three in India.

Pall’s environmental progress rewarded

Pall Corporation has been named one of the greenest companies in America by Newsweek magazine. The company ranked second in the industrial goods sector and 47th among America’s 500 largest companies. Pall adopted aggressive environmental sustainability goals as part of its long-term plan. It is on track to reduce its global carbon footprint by 10 percent in each of three categories – energy consumption, carbon emissions and waste output – by 2010.


Krones honored at drinktec

Krones AG was awarded three major accreditations by TÜV SÜD (Technical Inspection Association), a leading technical service company who’s range of services encompasses consultancy, inspections, tests and expert opinions as well as certification and training. Volker Kronseder, Executive Board Chairman of Krones, and Executive Board Members, Werner Frischholz and Christoph Klenk accepted certificates for the integrated management system (IMS), the sustainability report and the enviro-sustainability program. IMS accreditation combined existing quality management systems into one integrated system for quality (DIN EN ISO 9001), environmental protection (DIN EN ISO 14001) and occupational safety (BS OHSAS 18001), which was then validated by TÜV SÜD

LANXESS acquisitions completed

German specialty chemicals group LANXESS has successfully completed acquisitions of the chemical businesses and production assets belonging to Indian company Gwalior Chemical Industries Ltd and China’s Jiangsu Polyols Chemical Co. Ltd. Both transactions took effect September 1. LANXESS paid €82.4 million ($121 million USD) for the assets of Gwalior (including debt) while the acquisition price for Jiangsu Polyols will remain undisclosed.


Malawi initiative for Water For People

The Blantyre Water Board recently selected Water For People to provide technical support for a €31 million ($45 million USD) initiative funded by the EU Water Facility and European Investment Bank (EIB) to bring safe drinking water and improved sanitation to more than 540,000 people in 21 low-income areas of peri-urban Blantyre and Lilongwe, Malawi. The Board chose the NGO based on its past success in the region and its unique service-based approach to water and sanitation issues. The Denver-based nonprofit will receive more than $1.56 million (USD) as the facilitation services provider for the program.


ITOCHU to Participate in Desalination Project in Victoria, Australia

ITOCHU, a member of the Aquasure Consortium, was named preferred bidder by the Victorian government for the Victorian Desalination Project. Three major Japanese banks (Sumitomo-Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Corporate Bank and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ) will also participate in an international banking group providing project finance. The Project will be delivered as a public-private partnership and will be one of the largest desalination plants (150GL/year) in the world. Aquasure will construct the plant by the end of 2011 and operate it for 27 years, providing a reliable water supply for Melbourne and surrounding regions. (Moved from Oct)

Seccua in China

Seccua GmbH announced its successful entry into the Asian water treatment market, delivering its pre-engineered and packaged ultrafiltration systems, an important step for the company in achieving a global market presence. With a sustained annual growth rate of 15 percent, China is the strongest growing market in the field of water treatment. According to Chinese market expert estimates, in the medium-term, the company will be able to deliver around 1,000 installations every year.


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