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North America

Support for WaterSense expansion
IAPMO® announced it strongly supports US EPA’s Notice of Intent (NOI) to develop a WaterSense® draft specification for POU RO systems (https://www.epa.gov/sys­tem/files/documents/2022-01/ws-pro­ducts-ro-systems-noi.pdf). The NOI describes the efficiency and performance criteria WaterSense is considering for these systems to earn the WaterSense label, requesting input, supporting information and data from all interested parties on topics discussed in this NOI and otherwise related to RO systems.

NGWA wrap up
Groundwater professionals descended upon Nashville, TN in December for Groundwater Week 2021 and it was a giant success by all accounts. The event drew 4,171 attendees, making in the 21st largest NGWA annual conference and the largest ever held outside of Las Vegas, NV. Attendees came from all 50 states and represented 16 countries. They packed more than 30 educational sessions, some of which drew standing-room-only crowds. They also visited with 247 exhibiting companies that filled more than 67,000 square feet of exhibit space. Twenty-eight of the exhibitors made their Groundwater Week debut. Brian Snelten, PG, an area manager for Layne Christensen, became the NGWA President when he was handed the gavel from Merritt Partridge at the NGWA Delegates Meeting.

Safe water out of reach for some Californians
Bay City News reported that an estimated 371,000 Californians (about one percent of the state’s residents) rely on drinking water that may contain high levels of toxic chemicals such as arsenic, nitrate or hexavalent chromium, according to a study from the University of California campuses in Berkeley and Los Angeles. UC Berkeley researchers said the results of the study likely understate the number of people impacted by unsafe drinking water, as the study included just the three chemicals. The study is the first to quantity the aver­age concentrations of multiple chemical contaminants in both community water systems and domestic well areas statewide. The team has released an online Drinking Water Tool (https://drinkingwatertool.com­munitywatercenter.org/) that policymakers and members of the public can use to look up where their water comes from, as well as map areas of the state where ground­water sources are likely contaminated with unsafe levels of arsenic, nitrate, hexavalent chromium and 1,2,3-Trichlorolopropane.

Threat gene discovered in Georgia water
The MCR-9 gene, which causes antimicrobial resistance, was recently found in sewer water Georgia. It causes bacteria to be resistant to one of the world’s most important antibiotics, colistin. The presence of the gene is a major concern for public health because it causes antimicrobial resistance, a problem that the World Health Organization has declared “one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.” Researchers from the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) collected sewage water from a local urban setting to test for the MCR gene in naturally present bacteria. Led by College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor Issmat Kassem, whose research focuses on MCR’s presence around the world, the team was surprised at how quickly they detected MCR — they found evidence of the gene in the first sample they took. Kassem said that demonstrates that the gene is becoming established in the US.

USALCO, G20 merger completed
H.I.G. Capital announced that its portfolio company, USALCO, LLC has completed a merger with G2O Technologies LLC. The merger creates one of North America’s leading water treatment chemical producers with 27 sites, extending from California to Puerto Rico. The combined company will have in-house transportation capabilities and offer a range of products, including aluminum and iron salts, organic polymers and specialty blended formulations.

Duperon Corporation honored
Michigan-based Duperon Corporation received statewide recognition in November as a recipient of the MFG Innovation Excellence award (part of the 2021 MFG Excellence Awards, hosted by the Michigan Manufacturers Association). For more than 35 years, the corporation has remained a leader in preliminary liquid/solids separation systems. It provides simple yet innovative solutions for a variety of screening and solids handling applications in the water and wastewater industry. Duperon’s business model revolves around creativity and open communication, empowering employees to take an inventive spirit in tackling some of the water industry’s biggest challenges.

Toray fabrication, assembly moved
Toray Membrane USA, Inc., has moved fabrication and assembly of NHP MBR modules to the United States to serve the North American market better. The products now meet Buy American Act requirements and the company stocks products domestically in two locations (Poway, CA, Austin, TX) to better serve OEMs. Toray can now ship from either site for fast and cost-effective delivery.

Europe

Over 1,100 food and drink acquisitions completed
Zenith Global reported that 2021 was another record year for food and drink industry transactions, with 1,116 registered on the mergers and acquisitions database, an average of 21 each week. The total is 34-percent more than in 2020 and 79-percent higher than five years ago. The number has risen every year since a dip in 2013. Funding rounds for early stage businesses have become an increasingly important element. Water drinks (23) and water dispense (18), when taken together at 41, would come in eighth of the top sectors.

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