May 2003
Volume 45 Number 5
 

PipeLines: War in Iraq Affects U.S. Views on French Bottled Waters
by Ronald Y. Pérez, WC&P Managing Editor   Pages: 

The Canadian WQA’s noted bottled water brands from France, like Evian, may be hit by restrictions because of opposition France has shown to U.S. foreign policy regarding Iraq. Some U.S. lawmakers, upset over France and Germany’s opposition to the administration’s Iraq policies, were considering retaliatory gestures such as trade sanctions. It was reported these U.S. House members were so angered by France’s policies on agriculture they wanted to target two of the nation’s most sacred drinks—water and wine. This would have included imposing new health standards on imported bottles of Evian and other popular French waters. France, the top exporter to the United States, sold 65 million gallons of bottled water here in 2001, reported Beverage Marketing Corp.

California has passed a bill mandating a final regulated level be set there for perchlorate by Jan. 1, 2004. Even though there’s currently no regulated level, perchlorate contamination has forced shutdown of wells in various parts of the country due to increased detected levels. Based on increased awareness of perchlorate and public health concerns, NSF International is working on a testing protocol for perchlorate reduction to be added to at least two ANSI/NSF standards. Highlights of the initial protocol cite a proposed influent of 100 micrograms per liter (µg/L) +/- 10% with effluent requirements yet to be completely established; however, preliminary investigation has set the effluent requirement at 5 µg/L. Several factors* remain open regarding the final effluent limit.

A new drinking water newsletter, The Floridan, is being published by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Resource Management, Drinking Water Section. The newsletter serves to “present issues and explore events of interest to owners and operators of public water systems, drinking water managers, and policy makers around the state.” For more information, call (850) 245-8623.

The Texas Department of Health developed a Mold Task Force to establish guidelines for mold and indoor air quality (IAQ) in accordance with House Bill 2008 passed in September 2001. The task force is working on guidelines to require all mold and IAQ-related work performed in government buildings be completed by licensed mold inspectors, laboratories and remediators. For more information, see:
Texas Department of Health's Indoor Air Quality Program
"TDI Looks into Pricing; Mold Task Force Appointed"
"Texas Mold Task Force: Insurance Commissioner Looking for Help"
Texas WQA News.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended its bottled water quality standard regulations by establishing an allowable level for uranium. As a result, water bottlers are required to monitor finished bottled water products for uranium at least once each year under current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) regulations for bottled water. They’re also required to monitor source water for uranium as often as necessary, but at least once every four years unless they meet criteria for the source water monitoring exemptions under the CGMP regulations. See Federal Register for the FDA Direct Final Rule—Bottled Water (March 2003).

A letter dated March 7 was mailed to the “water filtration and purification industry” from the Massachusetts’ Division of Professional Licensure office. In it, executive director Joseph Peluso Jr. stated many filtration companies were in violation of MGL Chapter 142, the state’s plumbing code, Section 2.03, which says only licensed plumbers can install any pipe beginning on the house side or metering device or, if none, the main control valve immediately inside the foundation wall to the point of actual connection. For more information, see the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Division of Professional Licensure/Plumbers & Gasfitters.

Two separate pieces of legislation are being developed to address Louisiana’s depleted groundwater supply. The latest legislative session began on March 31. The first bill is designed to address both drinking water conservation and the costs of sewer system improvements by implementing a reclaimed water program. It would require certain types of business and industry to pay for the use of treated wastewater instead of tapping groundwater supplies that would be preserved for drinking water purposes. The second piece of legislation would implement a statewide water management plan. A new Water Management Agency would oversee the development of new rules and regulations to ensure the sustainability of the state’s water resources, promote public education and establish water conservation measures.

For more PipeLines information on these and other related items, see "Breaking News".