By Ronald Y. Pérez, WC&P Managing Editor
The SDWA Goes to Washington: Senator Wants Changes to Legislation
Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.) will propose legislation to overhaul the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Another reaction to the Washington, D.C., lead issue, the changes would help provide better notification to consumers of water with high lead levels, require more frequent water testing in schools and day-care centers across the country, and—most important—provide more federal funding to upgrade distribution systems, the Water Quality Association reported on its website. Two important parts of the proposal for the water treatment industry would require complete elimination of lead in all plumbing fixtures as well as that all consumers be alerted to contaminants across the United States. As such, Jeffords’ idea would require three new actions where water utilities would have to:
- Immediately notify all residents whose water has high lead levels,
- Distribute free filters to those residents, and
- Replace all lead service lines on public and private property.
In the plan, the replacement process would continue even if lead levels recede, essential to upgrading aging water delivery infrastructure. His proposal would also increase the frequency of testing in houses, schools and day-care centers, and force manufacturers of plumbing fixtures to eliminate lead from their products.
The Florida Ground Water Association (FGWA) will award two $500 college scholarships this year. Eligible applicants may obtain a copy of the scholarship form by contacting the FGWA office at (863) 293-5710 or (863) 299-5154 (fax). The application deadline is July 1.
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has announced the official theme, “Uncap the Future,” for its 46th Annual Convention and Trade Show to be held in Tampa, Fla., from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The IBWA convention will be part of BevExpo 2004. For schedule and session details, registration and other information including a list of exhibitors, log on to www.bevexpo.com
In an email to International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) members, IUVA executive director Jim Bolton warned of possible ramifications of California’s AB 2943, which would require manufacturers of all mercury-added products to label those products as such. It would also ban the sale of products containing more than 10 milligrams of mercury by Jan. 1, 2008, with earlier bans for products with more mercury. He wrote, in part: “Because this bill would affect UV manufacturers in California (and elsewhere if adopted in other states), we feel we can make a strong case this bill is inappropriate because it will result in little if any reduction in mercury while adversely affecting beneficial applications of UV in California. This bill could easily move forward unless there is a strong response from individuals and the UV industry.”
Bolton sent an “official” IUVA response April 1 to the state legislature regarding the proposal. In it, he said the bill would make the option of UV disinfection a difficult one for many water utilities. This would also increase the public health risk since the USEPA has determined that UV disinfection is very effective against pathogens such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia and has no disinfection by-products, as does chlorine disinfection. In addition, he wrote, the bill will make the option of UV systems difficult for utilities and industries that have to treat contaminants in water such as NDMA, a major environmental problem in California. In closing, Bolton said, “If you must pass a bill on this issue, we urge you to exempt lamps specifically designed to emit ultraviolet light.”