November 2004: Volume 46, Number 11
Water Conditioning and Purification Industry
by Karen R. Smith
We at WC&P are pleased to report firsthand that the water conditioning and purification industry is growing stronger both across America and around the world. While there are many different aspects to this business and just as many opinions on where it’s headed and how, everyone we’ve met during this season of trade shows and conferences is in agreement that we’re expanding and changing like never before. For many, it is a time of innovation both in products and procedures, both of which are driving profits and plans for the coming year. Be sure to read the wrap-ups of WQA’s Mid-Year and EWQA’s annual meetings in this issue and if you haven’t already, attend one of the regular association meetings in your area.
Odd, I know, to be reading midyear news in November. The cause of that change was the later date of AquaTech Amsterdam, resulting in a domino effect as other groups moved later on the calendar in response. AquaTech was so huge this year, with so many new companies exhibiting, that we have decided the best way we can acquaint you with it is to run two special AquaTech Showcases in December and January so that we can provide you with an up-close look at the incredible new products and services available.
While U.S. employers added only 96,000 jobs in September, making for an unchanged unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, the overall recovery of the American economy around Election Day seems assured as many sectors of the marketplace report increased sales. How water issues will fare under either a new presidential administration or a continuation of the incumbent’s will be interesting, particularly with regard to EPA policies, watershed use and water rights challenges.
Our new cover design is one of a number of changes we’re making to better serve our readers, a hallmark of WC&P’s approach. There are lots of voices and choices in the water industry and there’s a place for each and every publication. We will not be trying to dazzle you with surveys purporting to document our own importance in the marketplace, nor will we tout our place in that market as news. We are now what we have always been: the one complete source for news in the water conditioning and purification industry. The only information you will find between our covers is the business, science, technology and news of water conditioning and purification. That’s what we’ve provided for 46 years now.
News of note in this issue is a study of extractable arsenic from activated carbon drinking water filters (Gandy and Maas, page 44). This follows research performed by Evan Koslow beginning in 1999. U.S. filters by and large meet all applicable standards, even California’s Proposition 65. In fact, a single filter that was found to be in violation of that state standard was still in compliance with federal requirements. However, U.S. manufacturers face the threat of imported materials that do not meet these criteria. Many industry gatherings this fall discussed this issue with rising concern, with debate focused on whether it may be time to act in concert to stop foreign materials that do not meet our quality and health standards from entering the United States. While it is good to learn that our products today meet all regulatory requirements, we cannot afford to be less than vigilant. Globalization most assuredly brings new opportunities, but also new perils as controls and standards differ around the world. How we react to the dangers of imported activated carbon in the coming year will affect us all.
Which brings me back to where I began this column--make it a point to get involved with your local WQA this season and in the year to come. Each and every manufacturer, distributor, supplier and dealer will be affected by all that goes on in their state, across the country and around the world. Be sure your voice is heard.
Karen R. Smith, WC&P Executive Editor