Agua Latinoamerica

Viewpoint: Where do we go from here?

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

For many years, there have been reports of failing infrastructure and the need to address those issues before calamity struck. Lack of funding, lack of political will and several other factors have been waiting in the wings for just the right time to become the dreaded perfect storm. While not the only municipality to deal with contamination, Flint, Michigan became the poster child for all that is wrong in the water production industry. And the only hope for those residents was the efforts of the water treatment and bottled water industries to come to their immediate rescue. We’ve seen this before, in natural disaster scenarios. Companies large and small, regional and national, swoop in with treatment equipment and bottled water to meet the immediate needs. But that’s reacting to a crisis, not preventing one. If the state of infrastructure throughout the country is even slightly as bad as that of the older cities, more disasters are in the offing. And now, the American public is even less trusting and more suspicious about their water sources. This presents our segment of the water treatment industry with an opportunity that has always existed but is now more crucial than ever.
In this issue, Jose Maria Gonzalez of UV Pure Technologies presents a case study on UV treatment that resolved several critical issues for a small community in Colombia, while Technical Reviewer Gary Battenberg continues his series on the basics of ion exchange. Often, we’ve found that these back-to-basics articles are valuable to a broad cross-section of dealers and installers. Training should be ongoing and WC&P International supports that effort through our valued authors and reviewers. We were treated to a good many presentations at the annual WQA Convention & Exposition in Nashville. Otto Schwake, PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, outlined what went wrong in Flint and how it could have been prevented. In addition to the regularly scheduled WQA business affairs, as detailed in this issue, nearly everyone seemed focused on Flint, lead and other contaminants and how water treatment specialists could protect consumers. The reality-check of what it would cost and what it would take to fix the municipal problems has not gone unnoticed by equipment manufacturers, dealers and distributors. Their products and services, so well presented at Music City, have evolved from luxury to necessity.
Dr. Kelly Reynolds, Public Health Editor, also presented at WQA, giving an update on two Water Quality Research Foundation projects in which she is personally involved. Emerging contaminants being her special focus, this month she explores the possibility of a waterborne element to a relatively obscure but potentially fatal condition, Elizabethkingia, which has already claimed more than 20 lives in Wisconsin and Illinois.
So, what’s in the water? More than we realize and much of it can be deadly. The job of every manufacturer, distributor, dealer and installer is to provide the means for consumers to have a safe source of potable water. This industry has a lifelong commitment to successful implementation of water quality equipment and services. If the news is any indication, that commitment will only increase as time goes on.

Viewpoint: How do you measure success?

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Whether personal or professional, success is something we all try to achieve. Maybe it’s wanting to leave a legacy for the next generation or making a difference in the world in some concrete, humanitarian way. Defining and measuring success is often confounded with intangible criteria. What works for one person or company may not be nearly enough to meet another company’s goals—a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t always the best one. In our world of softeners, treatment systems, tanks, pipes, fittings, etc., there is a wide range and diversity of industry and application experience required to achieve success and maintain integrity. We are part of the public health chain, which means every dealer, installer, manufacturer and rep has a stake in keeping integrity at the top of the success list.
It’s not your grandfather’s water anymore. Nor is it your grandfather’s dealership anymore. Things change and technology has ushered in a level and type of change that is rapidly outpacing the industry’s ability to accommodate everyone. Dealers are engaging in more than softener installations and salt deliveries. They are becoming well-rounded, all-system proponents and suppliers, having to gain new skills and expertise to meet customer demands. As much technology as we have at our disposal, situations such as those in Flint, MI or Jackson, MS or Newark, NJ are still going to happen. And our industry should be at the forefront of protecting public health! It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the home or a bubbler in a school fountain, the importance cannot be overstressed. You are the key to providing the safety net against unpredictability in our water supplies.
This month, we take a look at very important commercial operations that can have some serious implications if not performed correctly. Dr. Brian Corbin of Dow reports on cooling tower technology, while Joseph Haynes offers important details about drilling equipment. Whether in the US or in a foreign country, it’s imperative that any system equipment is maintained properly. Gary Battenberg continues his series on cation exchange and Dr. Reynolds brings us news on lead contamination events and questions if we can completely remove lead from the water infrastructure.
There’s nothing more fulfilling than to achieve goals and be a part of a solution for improving the lives of others. For the water treatment industry, there are ever more opportunities to be the experts, the life savers consumers are seeking when problems arise. The cumulative knowledge of water cannot be fully measured though it’s something that should instill pride and the motivation to be enhanced at every opportunity industry-wide. Until we meet again, keep sending your comments and tell us what you want to read about. Stay in the loop, be productive and most importantly, be ethical. When you are helping better people’s lives to ensure a healthy lifestyle, you can’t go wrong.

Viewpoint: we come!

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

The dynamic nature of life in general sets us up for events that require a huge outpouring of support, knowledge and willingness to act. And, in light of the situation in Flint, MI (and other communities suffering through contamination issues), continued vigilance by our industry is a top priority. Water treatment professionals are needed now more than ever and that need is going to increase as time goes by.
It is, therefore, overwhelmingly important that we are at our best, all the time. This requires education and lots of practice. Nobody in water treatment earned their stripes because they thought twisting a pipe wrench was a neat trick. The volatility of water treatment, emerging technologies as well as contaminants of concern, makes training and education a best-case strategy for success. And we’ve got the information you need to reach that goal.
In this issue, we’ve included an updated WQA Convention schedule and hope you will use it to take advantage of every possible educational opportunity. The new education program, MEP, relies on a mentor-based approach, which is very beneficial. Some people are hands-on learners, others do better with the written word and some need both. The convention will offer training, seminars, networking with experts and industry veterans. You can’t go wrong with all of that expertise in one place.
At the core of treatment is water softening. In fact, it’s probably the most well-known of all treatment technologies. The equipment has evolved over the years to meet new regulatory requirements, certification demands and consumer needs. But the basics remain the same, as Technical Reviewer Gary Battenberg outlines in Part 2 of his series on cation exchange. Because we are fortunate in this country to have a wide range of water treatment options, we should remember that is not a global prospect. What works here may not work elsewhere and some methodologies need to be tweaked to meet regional demands. Porex Filtration has engaged such a project in Jakarta, Indonesia, which Simon Yang reviews in this issue.
Public health concerns have created layer upon layer of regulatory requirements for water treatment. How then can our efforts fail so badly, as evidenced by the catastrophes in West Virginia last year and Flint this year? Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds continues her search for answers to this question in her On Tap column. Aging infrastructure, political unwillingness, time and money are among the causes, but that doesn’t make us more confident. It’s your turn, dealers and manufacturers, to take the initiative. Be the ones who restore a high quality water source, responsible public health criteria and elevate the water treatment industry to the place it properly should hold. You are the experts; leave the pundits to flounder.
Please stop by Booth 526 during the conference and say hello, pick up a copy of the magazine, give us your ideas on coverage and topics and let us know how we’re doing. We hope to see you there!

Guest Viewpoint: A Message from WQA’s Interim Executive Director

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Dear Reader,
As Interim Executive Director of the Water Quality Association, it is my great pleasure to continue the long-standing tradition of addressing Water Conditioning & Purification International magazine’s readers in this edition of Viewpoint. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about WQA’s big annual event, which is coming up next month. The show, formerly known as WQA Aquatech USA, is now the WQA Convention & Exposition, which will take place March 14-17. If you haven’t yet registered to attend, I’d like to give you a few reasons why you don’t want to miss this show.
WQA is taking an already successful event and making it even better at connecting water treatment industry professionals to the technologies, know-how, training, networking and business opportunities they value. We feel strongly that our Convention & Exposition is the most cost-effective way for professionals in our industry to develop relationships, learn about equipment and devices and pick up new business tips. This year, we’re taking our act to the Music City: Nashville, TN. No longer a sleepy country music town, come to the city that’s easy on the wallet, easy to reach and famous for making music that makes the whole world sing.
For those interested in pursuing professional certification from WQA, there will be a wide array of opportunities throughout the four-day event. From educational sessions regarding important topics to certification exams, attendees will come away from the convention  with valuable knowledge and expertise. You also won’t want to miss our keynote speaker, best-selling author and motivational lecturer Chester Elton. The author of several successful books on leadership and a highly sought-after leadership consultant, Elton will help attendees learn how to engage, enable and energize their workforces.
Our commercial water-treatment tour will also be very unique this year. We’ll be offering a tour of Bridgestone Arena, home of the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators, to take a behind-the-scenes look at how the ice is made and maintained for NHL hockey. Furthermore, we’ll be unveiling an exciting new service that I’m confident our member companies will find extremely beneficial! I personally invite you to join us in Nashville this March, whether as a sponsor, an attendee or an exhibitor. To get started, please visit I look forward to seeing you there!

Feb2016_Westman mugSincerely,
David Westman, WQA Interim Executive Director

Viewpoint: A new year with better prospects

Friday, January 15th, 2016

by Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

Happy New Year, one and all! As we embark on another year of enthusiasm and positive trends, we hope you began the new year with as much energy and optimism. Just as spring will bring a sense of renewal, the new year seems to bring people to a fresh beginning and hopefully, with a cleaner slate.
Business and economics dictate that things have gotten much better and will continue to do so, with some exceptions. The slowdown in China affects all markets because of the heavy industrialization the country has engaged to become part of the global marketplace. The upside is the need for technologies and equipment designed to scrub the air and water that has been so polluted from this overwhelming pursuit. That’s good for many US companies, especially those who have manufacturing facilities in China, although they may experience slowdowns to address pollution issues.
Membrane separation and filtration, this month’s topics, cover a wide range of applications in nearly every aspect of production. Whether it’s goods, equipment, water treatment or medical usage, there’s a need for some type of filtration. Some involve highly technical and specialized aspects and those are becoming bigger niche markets, such as the medical needs communities.
Technologies once thought of as specific to only one market, such as industrial or municipal, are now being scaled down for much smaller applications, like commercial and residential use. Greg Reyneke, MWS, of Red Fox Advisors, provides an in-depth review of the different types of membrane separation and their uses. Alan Murphy, STW Resources Holding Corp., gives an overview of both separation and filtration and the prospects to be gained in the future. All major consultancy reports on membranes indicate there is nothing but growth for the next several years. Are you taking full advantage of these opportunities?
Guest author Marc Verhougstraete, PhD, pens the On Tap column this month with a look at how regional water issues actually impact those outside an affected region. He also gives examples of the worst man-made water disasters. Hopefully, some mitigation can be achieved to regain some of these lost precious resources and correct the devastation that has occurred as a result of these misguided projects.
Coming soon is the Water Quality Association 2016 Convention & Exposition in Nashville, TN, March 14-17. Registration is already open, just waiting for you to take advantage of early-bird savings. In addition, WQA is seeking new committee members. Please visit the WQA website to learn more. It takes an industry…

Viewpoint: We wish you a Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

Dec2015_xmas decorationsAnd now for something different…let’s celebrate! Yes, it’s a few days early but we are in the midst of the holiday season, making plans, buying gifts, reaching out to friends and family, all that comes with Christmas. We hope you are doing the same. This time of year, so many things get lost in the shuffle but health and happiness should not be among them.
According to the US Census Bureau, the US reached a milestone a couple of years ago, in which urban/suburban inhabitants outnumbered rural Americans 51 to 49 percent. There are, however, still a great many families dependent upon water wells, both rurally and in the municipal environment. Private water wells, not subject to federal testing requirements (yet), are a large source of waterborne illness. The rural market is under-served and in light of higher incidences of contamination, illness and poor quality, dealers who have overlooked this opportunity are missing the boat. Does this mean water treatment should change? Probably, and the industry will need to adapt to even greater challenges.
There are many issues surrounding the procurement and usage of water, one of the most highly regulated commodities in our country. Emerging contaminants are being found in many groundwater and surface water sources, as well as in the municipal sector. Around the globe, water issues are being looked at more closely and in this country, water scarcity dictates we rethink desalination and other technologies to maintain adequate water supplies. Groundwater alone is not going to bail out the Central Valley farming region of California, nor the rest of the nation.
This month, we look at water well remediation techniques with Michael Melancon of Jet Lube and Dr. Kelly Reynolds provides an appraisal of groundwater risk assessment tools. Whether it is reuse or repurposing, finding ways to remediate problem water on all levels will help to ensure more reliable sources for the future. One of the many long-term problems for which the water industry has produced a range of products is arsenic contamination. C.F. ‘Chubb’ Michaud outlines the pretreatment steps to effectively treat arsenic in the hope of bringing it down to the only possible safe level: zero! Also in this issue, we include a report on the Eastern WQA’s recent annual conference.
And in the spirit of giving, we are presenting an update from Wishing Well International Foundation (WWIF) on philanthropy and the industry. Over the years, many dealers and manufacturers have joined forces with NGOs and faith-based enterprises to enhance water quality for those in need. WWIF is a home-grown effort by water treatment professionals to take that mission a few steps further. Join them in making a difference for those in want and need. It is, after all, the season to give.
May you and yours have a safe, warm and Merry Christmas! We’ll see you in the New Year.

Viewpoint: Another transition, more possibilities

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

November is somewhat of a transitional point in many ways. Depending on where you live, it might be time for trees to change to fall colors; for others, it might be time to winterize homes and get on the road to warmer locales. And it brings the final round of celebrations for the year, with all the frenzy of holiday shopping thrown in. Let’s think about that. For years, we’ve offered tips and advice on how to make sales better. Has anyone thought about gift certificates as Christmas presents? Say, a free filter change or salt delivery, or something of that nature? If anyone has tried this and successfully worked it into their retention programs, we’d like to hear about it. Keeping a customer for the long term is much harder than grabbing the attention of a new customer. It’s like saying, “Now I’ve got you, but how am I going to keep you?”
Due to sustainability, drought and other environmental issues, many are looking at water sources that have been dismissed in the past as too expensive, ecologically damaging or not in favor politically. Beggars can’t be choosers, though, as the West has learned. Clifford Fasnacht takes a look at what has happened in California’s search for viable water sources, specifically desalination. Even ‘toilet to tap’ is getting a closer look in other places, as our precious drinking water resources diminish. California has unique challenges on many levels that the Pacific Water Quality Association (PWQA) works tirelessly to overcome. Their annual event is a great place to find out what works and what still needs to be done. This month, PWQA reports on its annual event that was held in early October.
Consumers are looking for safe and reliable products of all kinds, which is why testing and certification is such an important factor around the globe. There are significant differences in standards and processes, though. IAPMO’s Tom Palkon and Adam Wegmann explore how it’s done Down Under, including the possibility of US companies promoting their products in Australia.
Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds, Public Health Editor, provides an in-depth look at disinfection of drinking water, including the hazards that may be caused by various treatment options. DPBs are regulated by US EPA due to health concerns that have arisen and Dr. Reynolds covers a broad range of treatments and the unintended consequences that have fostered US EPA’s rules and guidelines.
As you look forward to the next conference (yes, there are more on the horizon) and get ready for family gatherings to celebrate the holidays, think of how much our industry has changed the health and well being of the world. That’s cause for celebration as well. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Viewpoint: Gearing up for change

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

By: Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher It was invigorating to see so many of you here in Tucson at the 2015 WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in the Santa Catalina foothills overlooking the city. Before getting down to business, some attendees had a bit of fun: a cowboy breakfast, a jeep tour through the desert, a visit to historic San Xavier del Bac mission and the annual golf benefit for the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF). The foundation exceeded its goal for the year, raising $2.8 million to fund industry research.

This is an exciting time for the Water Quality Association (WQA), which represents more than 2,700 member companies around the globe. Conference attendees learned about the restructuring of working committees and details of an ambitious three-year strategic plan. Now WQA staff is working to develop specific tactics and milestones to achieve those goals. WQA is a resource and information source, a voice for the industry, an educator of professionals and laboratory for product testing. In this issue, David H. Martin, president of Lenzi Martin Marketing, a firm specializing in water improvement and environmental marketing, shares highlights of the conference.

We all know that what happens in sewage doesn’t necessarily stay in sewage, and that’s especially true of drugs. Wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove contaminants like methadone and other pharmaceuticals. As a result, those facilities are a major contributor of pharmaceutical residuals in drinking water. Public Health Editor Kelly A. Reynolds explores research related to increased levels of pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs in drinking water and what is–and is not–being done to address this complex issue.

Travel with us to Wawa Boom, a geographically and culturally isolated section of Nicaragua in Central America. The region is flush with abundant water in rivers and streams, yet there is significant pollution from contaminants that include heavy metals from mining, salinization from the rising sea levels, human waste and naturally occurring arsenic. As many 800,000 people in Nicaragua have no access to safe drinking water and fewer than 20 percent have access to toilets. Water Aid America (WAA) is on the scene, training locals to test water quality, promoting the use of clay-pot filters and teaching the importance of sanitation and hygiene to protect local water sources. Sarina Prabasi, Chief Executive of WAA, shows us how clean water can transform lives.

This magazine is all about sharing information and insights. That includes profiles of thriving independent dealers. Donna Kreutz, new to our writing and editing team, introduces us to Al Lozier, president of Fresh KC Water, a small company serving the greater Kansas City metro area. He’s been in the industry for nearly 30 years and is laser-focused on customer service. He likes solving problems and evolving with the times. He’s using  technology and social media to attract the next generation of customers and envisions a future where the residential water treatment industry is involved in rainwater harvesting and possibly even partnerships with water companies to offer premium water options.

Think about your industry colleagues. Who do you know that is outstanding, innovative or inspiring? We welcome your input. Tell us about independent dealers you respect and suggest corporate leaders to feature in our Executive Insight column. Send an email to with the person’s name, company and contact information. We’ll take it from there.

It’s autumn at last, a season of transition, where nature slows down but we gear up as school starts and the holidays loom. It is a busy time, yet this also can be a season of contemplation, where we reflect on changes, appreciate progress and refocus our energies before the start of another year.

Viewpoint: Where did the summer go?

Friday, September 18th, 2015

by Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

I blinked and it was gone! It’s hard to tell, though, with the lack of seasonal changes in Tucson. And it’s still hot so we harbor the illusion of endless summertime here in the desert Southwest. School has already started in some areas, and with that, there’s less time hanging out by the pool. For many, though, the changing seasons will see pools drained and covered for another year.

We tend to forget that moving toward fall doesn’t mean the risk of dehydration
isn’t still a public (and private) health concern. In fact, for much of the US, unseasonably warm temperatures in some areas have left many wondering if seasons will change with a bang or a whimper, which makes it even more important for water consumption to remain consistent with seasonal temperatures. Whether a home or business is enjoying cool, refreshing water from the tap, water cooler or water bottle, the necessity remains for maintaining good hydration practices.

In this issue, we take a look at water coolers and bottled water. How have they
shaped your business? George Dzuira, Technical Service Director for MTN Products, offers insights on how to establish yourself in the water cooler industry with practical tips and hints. IBWA Communications Director Chris Hogan provides an update on the bottled water industry, including a forward-looking view of what to expect in the coming year. Additionally, due to much stricter quality requirements that have developed over the years, we are repeating an excellent early article about on-site testing for bottled water by Michael Neiheiser of National Testing Laboratories. Rounding out our coverage, Bill Blades relates why the VP of Sales is and should be one of the most important positions in a company. And finally, Dr. Kelly Reynolds, Public Health Editor, takes a closer look at the recent Legionella outbreak in cooling towers in New York. This issue offers something for everyone, including good pointers and advice.

As we go to press, we’re gearing up for the 2015 WQA Mid-Year Leadership
Conference, which will be in my backyard. We’ll be there to welcome attendees, take part in meetings, seminars, focus groups and task forces. The best way to improve our industry is through knowledge. Attending national and regional WQA conferences is your best source for current news about policies, developments, technology, regulatory issues and more. We hope to see you here, or maybe at another upcoming venue. Remember, we adapt and evolve collectively, by harnessing each individual’s talents.

Viewpoint: Technologies are changing…are you?

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

by Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

During the hottest month of the year, many people turn to swimming pools for relief. Whether it’s the local YMCA or community pool, or your own private swimming hole, there exists some measure of risk in this time-honored activity. Treatment of pool water to maximize the health and safety of swimmers is of paramount importance throughout the warmer season, but it shouldn’t end there. As time and technology advance, there are new products and methods to accomplish the goals of those who are engaged in pool water treatment. At the top of the list are chlorination and ozonation. Which is best? That is an open-ended question, for which the answer depends on the end user as well as the the company offering these technologies. In addition, the continuing drought may well be a determining factor in how to treat pools and other water resources.

In this issue, Marc DeBrum of ClearWater Tech examines the use of ozone in residential sectors. Often thought of in terms of much larger applications, such as municipal and industrial use, ozone has been used in pool water treatment for some time, though not to the extent that it has been able to compete with chlorination. In addition, ozone for potable water treatment is also on the rise. Terry Arko of HaloSource’s HaloKlear segment, offers a host of tips on maintaining pools and water features with the least amount of chemicals and treatment. His article is focused on preventive measures that will help pool and spa owners keep their play areas clean and healthy in the face of drought restrictions. There are plenty of good tips for everyone, whether they are impacted by diminishing water supplies or not. For those dealers who have branched out to treat pools and spas, this article offers some interesting insights and tips regarding treatment.

Last year, a toxic algae bloom seriously and adversely impacted the source waters for thousands of water customers in Ohio. And it may happen again. A recent study released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) indicated an even more severe event is likely to strike Lake Erie again this year. Public Health Editor Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD takes a look at how and why warmer temperatures make these blooms worse and what water customers can do to protect themselves when municipal water treatment fails.

We often call it the dog days of summer, when temperatures are hotter, but recent weather patterns have changed what we used to call ‘normal’ for this season. It may be this way for awhile, which means keeping an eye on changing methods for the best treatment of our precious and limited water resources. Are you in the game or watching from the sidelines? We hope to see you in Tucson for the WQA Mid-year Leadership conference, where there will be much to see and hear. Until then, stay cool!

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