Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

As we move into the new year, we are receiving more notices of meetings and conferences being cancelled, postponed or turned into virtual events. An old pearl of wisdom, relevant to current times, is that you must adapt to survive. Now more than ever, that applies to the conference and water treatment industries. Many depend on in-person contact at conferences to keep abreast of client needs and reassure customers that business is proceeding as usual. Though it’s good business practice to be adaptable, current circumstances may be forcing organizations and companies that have maintained tried-and-true approaches to adopt new practices.

The new year is showing us that what we were used to isn’t going to get us through tough times and what we see happening around us qualifies as the most disruptive environment for business ever known. Do you have a game-changing business model that transcends the pandemic, economic challenges, ineffective government? Let us hear about it.

Water policy is based on public health needs and that is what drives this industry: the need to provide clean, safe water in accordance with those policies. Water treatment has evolved but there are gold standards such as ion exchange that are the linchpin of properly maintaining water sources adequately. This month, we are going back to basics, presenting one of C.F. ‘Chubb’ Michaud’s articles on the chemistry of ion exchange. In addition, NSF International’s Rick Andrew covers the standards used to test and certify ion exchange systems.

Speaking of standards…our water supplies are one of the most highly regulated in the world, often because of conflicting regulations. Whether governed by federal, state or local ordinances, there’s no end to the limitations and restrictions surrounding the production of safe water. To meet that onerous burden, standards have been written and published to outline the necessary components of manufacture, safety and certifiable criteria for the end product. The IAPMO Group’s Tom Palkon presents a follow-up to his January article that outlines certification requirements for a broad range of water treatment activities involving premise plumbing. Permit requirements vary from state to state but it’s helpful to understand the underlying scope of the standards if you have to deal with a local permitting process.

Safety of private well water is another matter. US EPA does not regulate private wells even though it has pushed (unsuccessfully so far) to bring those water supplies under its purview. More attention is being paid to their vulnerabilities, however. Dr. Kelly Reynolds, Public Health Editor, reports on US EPA’s latest action, “…providing grant funding for technical assistance and training to support private drinking-water well owners.” For water industry professionals, the private well market, especially in rural areas, should not be overlooked. POU systems can provide much reassurance to well owners about their water quality.

As we take the long view, hoping circumstances will stabilize rather than worsen over the course of the year, WC&P extends an open invitation for submission of technical articles. Lack of knowledge and understanding of water treatment is the bane of our existence and our mission is to provide the best technical material to our readers as possible. To do that, we need the multitude of subject matter experts out there to jump on board and provide that technical information. We’ll leave the light on so you know we’re listening and watching for you.

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