Nov 16, 2004

Industry Insider

Washington Watch

EPA Recognizes Municipalities and Industries

In early October, EPA announced 29 first and second place winners of the 2004 National Clean Water Act Recognition Awards during the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exposition & Conference in New Orleans.
This is the 19th year EPA recognized municipalities and industries for demonstrating outstanding water quality achievements for projects and programs in five award categories: operations and maintenance, biosolids management, pretreatment, stormwater management and combined sewer overflow control programs.
The presentation of these awards help to raise public awareness of the pollution reduction efforts that wastewater treatment plants make to improve the nation’s waters. The awards program provides national recognition and encourages public support of programs that protect the public’s health and safety and the nation’s water quality. State water pollution control agencies and EPA regional offices make recommendations to headquarters for the national awards.
A listing of the 2004 National awards winners is available at

Environmental Watch

Wastewater Treatment Transforms Drugs

A variety of pharmaceuticals present in raw wastewater are transformed, sometimes in unexpected ways, when exposed to chlorine during wastewater treatment, according to studies conducted at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
In recent laboratory experiments, NIST researchers found that chlorine exposure under conditions similar to those used in wastewater treatment transforms acetaminophen into multiple products, two of which are highly toxic.
All the drugs tested to date “were transformed significantly, and their products were generally more ‘hydrophobic’ than the parent pharmaceuticals,” according to the NIST. “Hydrophobic compounds are more likely to build up in the body. It is not known whether these reaction products pose any health or environmental hazards.”
The results of some of the NIST research, as well as other studies of drugs in the environment, were presented last August in a session at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Manufacturer News

TriSep Receives Aquatech Award

TriSep Corp., a manufacturer of RO/UF membranes, recently received the International Aquatech Innovation Award at Aquatech 2004 in Amsterdam. The award was given for the development of SpiraSep, a spiral wound, backflushable, immersed ultrafiltration membrane process.
The award is intended for the most innovative product or service on display at Aquatech 2004.
“TriSep developed a spiral wound ultrafiltration membrane module which combines a number of innovations,” wrote an independent jury. “First, the spiral wound membrane configuration results in a number of technical and economic benefits. Second, the backflushing and aeration scrubbing of the membrane prevent fouling.”
“It is an honor to be recognized by the international water technology community for our innovation and we continue to advance this revolutionary process to better serve our industry,” said Peter Knappe, vice president of operations for TriSep.

Industry Notes

Hurricane Forces Symposium Cancellation

AMRA, an international association representing the automatic meter reading industry, was forced to cancel its annual symposium last September when Hurricane Jeanne tore through central Florida the same day the association’s 2004 International Symposium “Automation” was scheduled to begin.
Safety was foremost in the minds of AMRA leaders who cancelled the four-day event slated to take place outside of Orlando.
“When we decided to cancel the show, Jeanne was already a Category 2 hurricane and was expected to get even more destructive,” said Maritza Jackson, former president of AMRA.
By landfall, Jeanne had become a Category 3 storm, with winds ranging between 111-130 mph.
“We knew people wouldn’t be able to even get to the symposium,” Jackson said.
After deliberating with Automation planners, exhibitors and a representative group of speakers and delegates, the AMRA leadership decided not to reschedule Automation 2004. Instead, the association will dedicate its volunteers and resources toward planning the 2005 symposium, Sept. 18-21, 2005 in Long Beach, Calif.
Registered delegates who were attending to participate in specific courses or sessions can contact AMRA headquarters staff ( who may be able to provide information about speakers and presentations.

Association News

Associations Co-sponsor 2005 Event

The American Water Works Association, the Water Environment Federation and the WateReuse Association entered into an agreement for joint sponsorship of WRA’s 20th Annual Symposium in 2005.
The event will be held in Denver, September 18-21, 2005 and is expected to attract 600+ attendees.
In announcing the agreement, Wade Miller, executive director of the WRA said “partnering with AWWA and WEF is a tremendous plus for the water industry as a whole.”
“WEF is looking forward to working cooperatively and collaboratively with WRA and AWWA to plan and implement a successful event that will yield benefits to all our members,” said Lynn Orphan, WEF president-elect.
Jack Hoffbuhr, executive director of AWWA, added many of AWWA’s 57,000 members are industry leaders in water reuse saying “water reuse and desalination will be important components of water management in the 21st century.”

About the author

Tim Gregorski is editorial director of WWD.