Around the Industry – November 2014

Nov. 7, 2014

EPA funds two national drinking water centers for research and innovation; GLRI supplies funds to target harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie; U.S. Department of Commerce awards AWWA; and more.

EPA funds two national drinking water centers for research and innovation

More than $8 million in funds will be provided to create two national centers for research and innovation in small- to medium-sized drinking water systems. The recipients are the University of Colorado Boulder’s Design of Risk Reducing, Innovative Implementable Small System Knowledge (DeRISK) Center and the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS) Center. The funded centers will develop and test advanced, low-cost methods to reduce, control and eliminate groups of water contaminants that present challenges to communities around the world.

GLRI supplies funds to target harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie

EPA announced the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) will supply around $12 million in funds to federal and state agencies to target harmful algal blooms (HABs) in western Lake Erie and to protect public health. As part of GLRI’s continual efforts in reducing algal blooms, the funds will be available to state agencies in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana as well as to the U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

U.S. Department of Commerce awards AWWA

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) will receive a $299,955 award from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Market Development Cooperator Program to help facilitate U.S. water sector exports. The Department of Commerce provides the awards to support projects aimed at increasing U.S. exports, creating jobs and strengthening U.S. global competitiveness. AWWA is one of eight non-profit organizations selected to receive the awards totaling around $2.2 million. The AWWA award is projected to yield an estimated $14 million in U.S. exports over three years.

Seventh World Water Forum registration now available

The Seventh World Water Forum, which will take place April 12-17, 2015, in Daegu & Gyeongbuk, Rep. of Korea, is the largest water-related event in the world, culminating a three-year preparatory process in one week of sessions, debates and cultural activities, bringing together water experts with policy makers and civil society. The international forum will discuss various issues through thematic, science and technology, political and regional processes and a Citizen’s Forum will also be offered, including youth activities, cultural events, side events and a Water Expo & Fair. Registration is now open with early bird rates available through Dec. 31.

Water leaders urge the government to invest in water infrastructure

Water sector leaders from across the U.S. asked the federal government to join them in investing the hundreds of billions of dollars required to strengthen the nation’s water infrastructure. Last year the American Society of Civil Engineers reported U.S. water and wastewater systems are close to failing, giving the systems a “D” grade. New research from the Water Research Foundation and the Water Environment Research Foundation found that 30 of the largest utilities from around the U.S. will invest $233 billion over the next decade and generate more than half a trillion dollars in U.S. economic output.

Water for All of Atlas Copco celebrates 30 years

Atlas Copco’s non-profit, employee-run Water for All organization celebrated 30 years of providing people in need with long-term access to safe, clean water and sanitation. Water for All has helped more than 1.5 million people access clean drinking water since its establishment by Atlas Copco employees in 1984. As Atlas Copco’s main community engagement project, the Water for All initiative donated over $500,000 to 15 projects around the world and helped provide more than 10,000 people with access to clean water and sanitation in the past four years.

NGWREF awards grant for bioremediation of groundwater research project

The National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation (NGWREF) awarded an $8,000 grant to Daqian Jiang, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota for a research project on the bioremediation of groundwater. The project “Electrochemically Enhanced Bioremediation for Attenuation of Arsenic, Nitrate and Emerging Contaminants in Groundwater” focuses on the research of emerging contaminants and the development of remediation technologies that can be used to address current and new pollutants. Jiang’s proposed research aims to develop a “drop-and-treat” alternative for enhanced remediation of arsenic, nitrate and emerging contaminants in groundwater and to produce a prototype device as a solution to certain long-term and emerging groundwater remediation challenges.

EPA fines Redwood City facility for allegedly polluting San Francisco Bay

EPA and U.S. Department of Justice fined Sims Metal Management $189,500 for allegedly polluting the San Francisco Bay with scrap metal debris in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA), contaminating the Bay with mercury, lead, zinc and PCBs. For years, Sims allegedly has operated a conveyer belt without sufficient pollution controls, preventing materials from falling off the belt and into the Bay. Sims processes and exports over 300,000 tons of scrap metals from more than 200,000 recycled vehicles and other equipment each year to China and other areas around the world out of its Port of Redwood City facility.

WQA expands MEP to include Sales Certificate

The Water Quality Association (WQA) added a new Sales Certificate to its Modular Education Program (MEP). The coursework builds upon the MEP’s Basics and Fundamentals programs to prepare water treatment sales professionals in diagnosing water issues and selecting treatment solutions. The Sales Certificate program focuses heavily on helping salespeople build credibility and trust with the customer, providing step-by-step training through a combination of background reading, online quizzes, hands-on practice and interaction with a mentor. Participants will be instructed in selecting the proper technologies and products to meet customers' needs, proper sizing of water treatment systems and how to prepare for sales calls.

New report addresses New Jersey’s urban water infrastructure challenges

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread released a report, “Developing an Agenda for Change for New Jersey’s Urban Water Infrastructure,” discussing New Jersey’s opportunities to transform urban communities and address combined sewer overflows and other water infrastructure challenges. Guidelines for public, private and nongovernmental partners are offered in the report to ensure necessary investments are being made regarding design, construction and maintenance of 21st century water infrastructure that strengthens cities, enables economic growth, leverages modern practices and reduces flooding and energy use.

Industry remembers Robert ‘Bob’ Marsh

Robert “Bob” E. Marsh passed away earlier this year at the age of 93. Marsh’s extensive knowledge of plastics and plastic processing led to the first blow-molded brine tanks and cabinets as well as pressure vessels with built-in distributors and separate chambers. He also produced several unique systems and components still in use in the residential reverse osmosis (RO) business. He was one of the first to custom design and sell softening equipment to the U.K. and Europe. He launched a manufacturing facility in England as well as established factories in Wisconsin and California.

Company agrees to restore polluted streams and wetlands

Trans Energy Inc. reached a settlement requiring portions of streams and wetlands at 15 sites in West Virginia allegedly polluted by the company’s unauthorized discharge of dredge or fill material to be restored. The company will also pay a penalty of $3 million to be divided equally between the federal government and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) as a result of allegedly violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) due to the unsanctioned discharge.

Nassau County awards major contract

Nassau County (New York) awarded United Water, a provider of water and wastewater services, a 20-year contract to operate, manage and maintain its wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations and sewers. The Nassau County system manages wastewater from 1.2 million people in Long Island, treating it for disposal into environmentally sensitive estuaries. As a result of the agreement, the Suez Environnement subsidiary will be responsible for the largest water-related, public-private partnership in the U.S. with a value of over $1.2 billion.

Imagine H20 launches Infrastructure Challenge program

Imagine H2O announced the launch of its Infrastructure Challenge program, the nonprofit organization’s sixth annual Business Innovations Program. The Challenge will identify and support innovative water businesses that present scalable solutions enhancing water and wastewater infrastructure, resulting in measurable savings or environmental impacts. Participating water startups will compete for cash awards and in-kind services as well as admission to Imagine H2O’s Accelerator Program, where they will receive mentorship from sector experts and introductions to investors, strategic partners and end users. The Infrastructure Challenge will also connect the winning companies with utilities from Imagine H2O’s network of water utilities and agencies.

EPA and GWNO address environmental issues in New Orleans

Groundwork New Orleans (GWNO) and EPA announced they are once again teaming up to address environmental justice issues in New Orleans. EPA recently awarded $120,000 to GWNO to support a two-year project that will create an adaptable outdoor curriculum focused on watershed and stormwater management for local youth and residents. GWNO will use an EPA Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement (EJCPS) to conduct the project. GWNO is one of 12 community-based organizations that will receive EJCPS funding totaling around $1.4 million.

Glen Daigger of CH2M HILL completes second term as IWA president

During the 2014 International Water Association’s (IWA) World Water Congress & Exhibition, which took place on Sept. 21-26 in Lisbon, Portugal, CH2M HILL hosted a special reception honoring CH2M HILL Senior Vice President and Chief Water Technology Officer Dr. Glen Daigger, who completed his second term as president of the IWA. Daigger is recognized around the world as an expert in wastewater treatment technologies and has served as IWA’s president since September 2010.

ANRC receives funds to improve water quality and infrastructure

EPA awarded $9,165,000 to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) for projects improving water quality and infrastructure. The funding is part of EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), a program that provides low-interest, flexible loans to municipalities and rural water districts. ANRC will utilize the funds for such projects as replacing sewer lines, improving wastewater treatment facilities and upgrading collection systems.

New report warns of potential water crisis for South Africa

South Africa’s Opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) released a report warning that the country faces a severe water crisis if a recent survey’s findings in water-stressed areas are overlooked by the government. Provinces of Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape have water with E. coli levels 320 times higher than what is considered suitable for wastewater treatment. The investigation was prompted by an outbreak of diarrhea in the Northwest, which affected 500 people and resulted in the deaths of three children; some areas have water contaminated by E. coli at 1,000 times higher than wastewater treatment limits.


Watts Water Technologies announced that Guillermo Garcia has been appointed as the outside sales manager for the Western region of Watts’ Water Quality division and Peter Parsons has joined the company as the national product training manager – Americas. Garcia has been in the water industry for 13 years and holds a level three WQA Certified Water Specialist certification (CWS III) and before his new appointment, he served as an inside sales representative providing customer service technical support for the Western region. Parsons brings more than 30 years of training experience and program leadership within global companies to his new position and will be responsible for the development of a comprehensive product training strategy for the Americas.

T&S Brass and Bronze Works Inc. hired Bert Dittmar as director of European sales based in Berlin, Germany. Dittmar worked most recently as director of global sales for KAHLA Thüringen Porzellan GmbH, where he was instrumental in restructuring the company’s professional division and was heavily involved in product marketing and development. At T&S, he will oversee sales of the company’s products to European customers, manage all marketing and advertising for the region as well as develop and maintain T&S’s widespread European network of product representatives and distributors.

Sonitec-Vortisand announced the addition of Donald A. Aromando as the regional sales manager for central and western areas in the U.S., including the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast. Aromando has served the chemical and industrial water treatment industries in several capacities and has over 20 years of industry knowledge. He has provided fine chemicals, specialty intermediates, custom manufacturing/recycling services and industrial water treatment equipment and systems to oil refineries and producers, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, power generation firms and more.

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