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April 2006: Volume 48, Number 4

Regional News: North America, Canada, Latin America, Caribbean

North America

Global price increase for resins: Dow is increasing the price of all ion exchange resin, adsorbent and catalyst products. The price increase will average five percent across the product line, globally and was effective April 1, 2006, or as contracts will allow. Local sales representatives will contact customers with the specific product and price details.

Hamburg, Mich. checks salt in water: High levels of salt discovered in test wells at the townships wastewater treatment plant have prompted officials to take quick action that may include going door-to-door to inspect residents water softeners, according to the Detroit News. Pine said as many as a quarter of the 2,500 sanitary sewer customers in the township may have their water softeners hooked up to discharge salt water into the sewer system

Firms accuse China of dumping activated carbon: Two U.S. makers of activated carbon filed petitions with the government accusing China of dumping the production the U.S. market. In a story from Water Industry News, Calgon Carbon Corp. and Norit Americas Inc. said Chinese imports of activated carbon had surged by more than a third in two years and were priced at up to seven times less than the market value.

IBWA announces official theme: The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) announced the official theme, Everyones a Winner, for the IBWA 2006 Annual Convention and Trade Show, to be held in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino from October 3-6, 2006. To reserve booth space, exhibitors may contact IBWA Trade Show Consultant Michiel Glunt, at (407) 468-7475 or (703) 647-4617. For attendee registration and additional information about the IBWA 2006 Annual Convention and Trade Show, log on to the IBWA website at www.bottledwater. org, or call Susan Frate, Director of Conventions, at (703) 647-4606.

Tap water damaging to skin? The New York Times Magazine reported on a beauty trend that identifies tap water as being damaging to skin. The article identified the theory as having begun with Dorit Baxter, owner of a New York City day spa, who has recently introduced a skin cream to protect the face from water spray in the shower.

Total wastewater recycling for Laundromats: The first zero discharge laundry system affording 100 percent wastewater recycling capabilities was installed by Ecoloclean Industries, Inc.s wholly owned subsidiary, Aquatronics Industries, Inc. of Providence, R.I. Typically, coin-operated laundries address only some 70-80 percent of their wastewater discharge resulting in a 20-30 percent discharge of non-recycled wastewater.

ITT UV contract awarded: ITT Industries, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a sole-source ultraviolet (UV) water framework contract by United Utilities PLC of the United Kingdom. This is the first major framework contract award for UV potable water disinfection by a U.K. utility. The contract covers a period of two years with an option to extend.

Cold facts about fast food ice? A student in Florida won the New Tampa Middle School science fair with disturbing local research about the bacteria in ice served at local fast food eateries, according to the Tampa Tribune. Twelve-year-old Jasmine Roberts compared the ice used in the drinks with the water from toilet bowls in each of five restaurants. She discovered that 70 percent of the time, the ice had more bacteria than the toilet water.

NSF/ANSI Standard 61: addition of new stainless steel grades: NSF International announced in February that NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components Health Effects now allows additional types of stainless steel as acceptable materials for use in the manufacturing of drinking water equipment. NSF/ANSI Standard 61 is the American National Standard that ensures pipes, tubes, storage tanks and other products that come in contact with drinking water do not contribute levels of contaminants that could cause serious health problems. Forty-five U.S. states and two Canadian provinces require drinking water system components to comply with NSF/ANSI Standard 61 requirements. Chemical-free water purification technology: The Vortex Corporation of Prescott, Ariz. has been awarded a Phase Two $750,000 Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency Small Business Innovation Research (HSARPA SBIR) contract to develop chlorine-free water purification systems for municipal use. The HSARPA SBIR program funds early stage research and development aimed at enhancing the safety and security of American citizens, institutions and culture.

Bottled water: the new eco-disaster: Plastic water bottles are becoming a major environmental hazard, reported The Age National. A recent report by the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute said global consumption of bottled water rose 57 percent from 1999 to 2004 to 154 billion liters. Much of the growth came from countries such as Australia, where most tap water is of as high a quality as anything that can be bought. Environmental scientist Tim Grant said it was counter-intuitive that bottled water was such a successful product. People pay $2.50 for something thats free, he said. Packaging worldwide required 2.7 million tons of plastic each year, the reports author, Emily Arnold, said, adding that the manufacture of bottles used up 1.5 million barrels of crude oil in the U.S. because the plastic is made from fossil fuel.

Bottled water: nectar of the frauds? Consumers spend a collective $100 billion every year on bottled water in the beliefoften mistaken, as it happens that this is better than what flows from our taps, according to environmental think tank the Earth Policy Institute (EPI) and reported in OneWorld. For a fraction of that sum, everyone on the planet could have safe drinking water and proper sanitation, the Washington, D.C.-based organization said. Members of the United Nations have agreed to halve the proportion of people who lack reliable and lasting access to safe drinking water by the year 2015. To meet this goal, they would have to double the $15 billion spent every year on water supply and sanitation.

Huntington Beach approves largest U.S. desalination plant: A controversial proposal to build what would be the largest desalination plant in the nation along the Huntington Beach coastline was approved after months of raucous debate. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Huntington Beach City Council voted four to three to approve permits for Poseidon Resources Corp. to build a $250 million desalination facility next to the AES power station on Pacific Coast Highway at the citys southern edge, despite the Poseidon Tampa Bay fiasco.

Contract and patent infringement suit: According to Market Wire, Hendrx Corp. announced that legal proceedings have been initiated by Worldwide Water, LLC against a number of defendants, including Hendrx, in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, State of California, for breach of contract and patent infringement.

U.S. EPA reducing lead in drinking water: U.S. EPA has released a specialized toolkit to encourage school officials and childcare facilities to reduce lead in their drinking water. The 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water at Schools and Child Care Facilities Toolkit contains materials to implement a voluntary training, testing and telling strategy.

Calgon Carbon amends credit facility: Calgon Carbon Corporation announced that it has completed the amendment and restatement of its $125.0 million unsecured credit facility that would have expired in February 2008. The amended $118 million facility consists of a $100 million revolving loan and an $18 million term loan. National City Bank of Pennsylvania was the lead arranger and is participating along with PNC Bank N.A., Harris N.A., First Commonwealth Bank and First National Bank of Pennsylvania. The company was not in compliance with the leverage covenant of its former credit facility for the quarter ended September 30, 2005. Despite acquiring a waiver from its lenders through January 31, 2006, the company was required to reclassify all existing debt under that facility as short-term. As a result of the amended agreement, all current debt outstanding under the facility was reclassified as long-term on December 31, 2005. The firm announced on February 21, 2006 that it is delaying release of 2005 financial results pending the outcome of an investigation by the audit committee of the companys Board of Directors related to vendor invoices that the company discovered had not been recorded in a timely fashion. The value of the invoices, based on information to date, approximates $1.3 million that will be reflected in 2005 results. The company expects the result of the investigation will be disclosed prior to the filing of the Form 10-K annual report.

The LeverEdge hosts annual event: The LeverEdge and ISPC hosted their annual Invitational Golf Tournament on November 11, 2005, at Champions Gate Golf Club near Orlando, Fla. In addition to The LeverEdge and ISPC, 28 other sponsors made this great event possible. All enjoyed the full day of activities.

Project seeks multiple uses for water: Eddie Livingstons Multiple Use Water Project proposes to create a system that could use the same water two or three times and save money, according to the Alamogordo Daily News. The projects motto is, Because water should be used more than once.

Antimicrobial approved: AgION Technologies, Inc., has announced that the U.S. EPA has approved the companys Silver Antimicrobial Type AK for food and water contact. The five percent reservoir of silver found in Type AK in combination with a permissible loading of five percent is the strongest concentration of silver available in the U.S. market for use in food and water contact applications. The Type AK can provide greater antimicrobial performance under the most challenging conditions, including high water flow, abusive wear and caustic cleaning environments.

Net income gain reported: Aqua America, Inc. has reported net income for the year ending December 31, 2005 grew 14 percent to $91.2 million, from $80 million, for the full year 2004. Corresponding diluted earnings per share, on a GAAP basis, increased 11 percent to $0.71 per share from $0.64 per share for 2004, on three percent more shares outstanding. Earnings in 2004 benefited from a $2.3 million pre-tax gain in the fourth quarter from the sale of the companys Geneva, Ohio water system. The gain was recorded as a reduction in the operations and maintenance expenses in the fourth quarter. Excluding the gain, 2004 diluted earnings per share were $0.62.

Representative appointed: Spartan Environmental Technologies, a distributor and manufacturer of chemical oxidation and disinfection equipment, has appointed MEMECO Sales and Service Corp. (MEMECO) of Lincolnwood, Ill., as its representative for Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. Spartans product line includes ozone generators, odor control systems and a proprietary electrolytic system for the removal of organics from water. The systems treat air and water from municipal, commercial and industrial facilities

Canada

Canadian boil orders continue: According to CBC News in Calgary, 76 First Nations communities remain under boil water advisories. Health Canada reports were the source of the statistics, which noted that nearly 60 percent of reserve drinking water systems in Alberta were at risk and the fact that of the provinces 78 First Nations water operators, only 14 are fully certified.

Water quality improvements could cost $1B: The Alberta government may be willing to spend 1 billion Canadian dollars over the next decade to improve drinking water systems across the province, said Environment Minister Guy Boutilier. The comment followed an evaluation of more than 500 water treatment plants. The evaluation found older infrastructure in need of upgrading in some smaller communities.

Latin America

Call for abstracts: The Second International Meeting on Environmental Biotechnology and Engineering (2IMEBE) will be held September 26-29, 2006, in Mexico City, Mexico. Environmental problems require an interdisciplinary solution and both engineers and scientists require information on a wide range of issues. This conference promotes discussion and debate based on the sharing of experiences at an international level. If you are interested in presenting at this important gathering, now is the time to submit abstract(s). Visit the conference website at http://

Bottled water necessity: Across much of Latin America: bottled water is considered by many consumers to be a necessity rather than a lifestyle choice, according to Research & Markets. The region boasts some of the largest bottled water markets worldwide, topped by Mexico and Brazil. Poor quality tap water coupled with a growing awareness of health and wellness issues have meant that demand for bottled water in many markets has risen sharply in recent years, with bulk packaged water driving consumption forward in many countries.

Caribbean

GE success in Aruba: GE Water & Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Company has provided its antiscalant technology program, GE Betz HT15/PDC9323, to Water en Energiebedrijf (WEB) Aruba N.V., which provides power and water to the island. The GE technology was used in WEB Arubas Aquachem 5 (AC-5) MSF plant.