North America

RWC named top company
RWC has been named to the list of Metro Atlanta Top Workplaces 2021 as determined by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Selected for its culture of innovation and progress as well as openness to new ideas, RWC continues to demonstrate its commitment to advancing the building trades internally and externally. RWC’s role as an employer in the industry is a unique one.

Watts training challenge launched
Watts clients can earn premium benefits under the company’s Learn & Earn program by completing any of 150+ water conservation, water safety, water quality, or sustainability-inspired courses on Watts Works Online. With each course completed, clients will earn Double Tokens towards some fun Watts lifestyle merchandise. By completing all 150+ courses, they can unlock 5,000 bonus tokens and be eligible for a Watts Works certificate of recognition. Clients can visit the website (training. watts.com) for details.

MIT engineers make filters from tree branches
The interiors of nonflowering trees (such as pine and ginkgo) contain sapwood lined with straw-like conduits known as xylem, which draw water up through a tree’s trunk and branches. Xylem conduits are interconnected via thin membranes that act as natural sieves, filtering out bubbles from water and sap. MIT engineers have been investigating sapwood’s natural filtering ability and have previously fabricated simple filters from peeled cross-sections of sapwood branches, demonstrating that the low-tech design effectively filters bacteria. Now, the same team has advanced the technology and shown that it works in real-world situations and have fabricated new xylem filters that can filter out pathogens such as E. coli and rotavirus in lab tests.

WEF, CDC disease surveillance program announced
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has selected the Water Environment Federation to develop, manage and provide training for a nation-wide network of water utilities, public health agencies and laboratories participating in wastewater-based disease surveillance. This type of surveillance involves the testing of wastewater to evaluate the presence of pathogens among a population.

Winsupply acquisitions announced
Winsupply Inc. has completed the purchase of Discount Drainage Supplies, a waterworks distributor with three locations in Ohio. Based in Akron, Discount Drainage is the largest stocking distributor of drainage pipe and related products in Ohio. Details of the purchase were not disclosed. Winsupply also purchased the assets of Allegheny Pipe & Supply of Coraopolis, PA, a prime distributor of carbon and stainless steel pipe, valves, fittings and related products. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Winsupply announced Thomas Pipe and Supply (Arizona), its overall Company of the Year.

Kinetico partnership announced
Kinetico Incorporated announced its partnership with Mike Holmes, professional builder, contractor and television host with a reputation for “making it right.” As a part of the Holmes-approved products family, Kinetico and its independent dealers will work with Mike Holmes to raise awareness about the need for better water.

Water Tower firsts reported
The Water Tower, the new water innovation hub in Buford, GA, released its first ever annual report, The Year of Firsts. Accomplishments in TWT’s four key pillars of applied research, technology innovation, workforce development and community engagement are featured throughout the report, as well as strategic partnerships that enhanced and supported the success in these areas. Beginning in early 2022, TWT will open its doors to innovators from across Georgia, the Southeast, the United States and the world to contribute to its ecosystem of water innovation.

Stantec remediation project started
The Kiewit-Stantec design-build team recently broke ground on two multi-year projects that will help remediate water from the San Fernando Valley Groundwater Basin (SFB) for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The new state-of-the-art facilities at the North Hollywood Central Response Action Treatment Facility and Tujunga Well Field Response Action Treatment Facility will address historical groundwater contamination from post WWII and cold-war era industrial operations in the area.

New service for Texas
Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical announced the grand opening of their newest location in Austin, TX. Abacus Plumbing has served generations of Texans as one of the leading home services providers in the state, offering plumbing services, air conditioning and heating, electrical services, drain and sewer and water treatment. The company has deep ties to the Austin community and is currently hiring skilled technicians.

Europe

UK drinks report released
The UK water drinks market took a big hit from the coronavirus outbreak last year, but is set to recover quickly, according to the latest UK Water Drinks Market Report from Zenith Global. UK consumption of plain water fell by nine percent in 2020. Volumes of flavored and functional water drinks were down by 12 percent. Sales values dropped even further, by 25 percent for both plain and flavored/functional waters. Despite this, the number of people consuming water drinks has remained strong and the popularity of natural source waters was reflected by increased consumption at home.

Water filter to fight help COVID
An innovative water filtration technology developed in the UK can help tackle the threat of COVID-19 in the developing world. The Grifaid Community filter, manufactured by not-for-profit company The Safe Water Trust, can help to tackle these problems by providing large groups of people with rapid, on demand access to safe water. This water can then be used for cleaning and drinking in hospital, medical clinics and vaccination centers. Offering a flowrate of up to 300 liters per hour (0.26 GPH), the filter removes bacteria and viruses from water supplies using advanced membrane technology.

IWA water awards
The upcoming Digital World Water Congress is set to play host to IWA’s 2021 Awards. The awards, held every two years, recognize the outstanding achievements of IWA members and water sector professionals. The first four awards (Global Water Award, Women in Water Award, Professional Development Award and Young Leadership Award) will be announced during the opening ceremony. Each winner will receive an official certificate and will be invited to give a short speech to inspire and motivate the audience.

Asia

EKKI COVID response reported
EKKI of India, which manufactures pumps and water technologies under the EKKI and Deccan brands, has been proactively engaged in the universal fight against the COVID 19 pandemic. Under its initiative Battle Covid, the company donated more than 50,000 PPE kits to its dealer community, which is spread all over India. It was a mammoth operation carried out through its nationwide dealership network.

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