June 2003
Volume 45 Number 6
 

Pipelines—Industry Experts Make Arsenic a Hot Topic in Arizona
by Ronald Y. Pérez, WC&P Managing Editor   Pages: 

On April 16, Severn Trent Services (STS), of Fort Washington, Pa., sponsored a one-day arsenic meeting, “Evaluating Arsenic Removal Solutions in Arizona,” in Phoenix. There was a multitude of Power Point presentations—all available via CD-ROM. One by Mark Bruce, of Severn Trent Laboratories (a division of STS), and Bruce Thomson, of the University of New Mexico, was entitled “Fundamental Aspects of Arsenic Chemistry and the Importance of Performing a Complete Water Quality Analysis.” Another, “Arsenic Treatment Options,” was provided by Black & Veatch’s Jonathan Clement, who keyed on treatment technologies, adsorption, selection and optimization. He went on to discuss removal mechanisms such as adsorption and physical removal. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality also unveiled its Arizona Arsenic Master Plan (AMP) as part of the Safe Drinking Water Program. As stated in the presentation, the AMP’s purpose is specifically targeted to small water systems, focuses on providing as much assistance as possible, and allows compliance with the arsenic MCL to be “affordable and attainable.” Meanwhile, STS’ Rich Dennis talked about “Laboratory and Field Testing Protocols.” Dennis touched on arsenic treatment including pre-qualification, water analysis, pre-treatment, and an STS treatment system; a pilot program, and the company’s experience in this area. Also at the meeting, the city of Mesa, Ariz., revealed results of its arsenic pilot test involving adsorptive media and ion exchange. William Vernon gave a presentation on “Scottsdale’s Journey Through the Arsenic Compliance Maze.” A rundown of the Arizona city’s water traits were shared that had significant bearing on arsenic rule compliance. Greg Gilles, of Atlanta’s AdEdge Technologies Inc., discussed arsenic markets and opportunities in “Arsenic Treatment Solutions: Small Systems Perspective.” Other areas covered were granular ferric oxide adsorption, costs and benefits as well as POU/POE options and costs. Finally, STS’ Tom Carmody presented “Full-Scale Treatment Designs” where he talked about the company’s program history, system design contributions and test experience.

Roughly 2.3 million people—about 20 percent of the total population—in New England obtain water from their own private wells. The USEPA doesn’t regulate private wells and many states and towns don’t require periodic sampling of private wells after they’re initially installed. As a result, the USEPA’s New England Office has a new campaign to get the word out to homeowners about the importance of taking precautions to protect, maintain and test their private well. Through a variety of efforts, the campaign will reach the general public, real estate community, schools, local officials, and trade associations such as well drillers. Later this year, the USEPA will be partnering with other New England State Drinking Water Programs and State University Cooperative Extension Services to get the word out about well testing, protection and maintenance. For more on this, contact Jane Downing at (617) 918-1571 or email: downing.jane@ epa.gov

Ontario will charge a tax on water bottling companies on water drawn for their businesses. The Minister of Environment confirmed a resource royalty tax is being discussed, according to the Canadian WQA’s Communiqué. It’s estimated that 2.9 billion gallons (11 billion liters) of water are drawn from the province’s aquifers. Ontario residents drink about 53 million gallons (200 million liters) of bottled water a year, which is close to a third of the country’s total. Speaking of bottled water, a grassroots group in Grey Highlands, Ontario, won a court decision that could place restrictions on the province’s bottled water industry. Three judges of the Divisional Court ruled that commercial pumping is considered land use under Ontario’s Planning Act and thus comes under the control of municipalities’ zoning bylaws. Therefore, municipalities are no longer powerless when a business begins pumping large amounts of water from the ground. One bottled water company targeted was Artemesia Waters, a division of Echo Springs. Permits aren’t required for businesses that pump less than 4.8 million gallons (18.25 million liters) of water a year.

See Breaking News at www.wcponline.com for further details or updates on these and other state and regional items of related interest.