Apr 24, 2003

War Spurs Interest in Water Treatment


It is disheartening to think that it takes negative
occurences to make the government take into account the water treatment
industry's potential. However, it makes me feel honored to be a part of an
industry that has the ability to offer safety to our nation.

It was September 11 that originated the drive for the
country to take a closer look at protecting its citizens. Our nation's drinking
water has since risen to become a top priority for protection.

A few headlines that demonstrate how the industry's work is
so crucial have made me take notice.

* Iraqi
citizens--who already suffer from poor water conditions--have begun to face a
cessation to their water supplies. It is being said that contaminated water may
end up being responsible for more deaths during the war than those caused by
weapons. A recent example of this was in the city of Basra where damage to the
electric power grid shut down its water treatment plant, leaving some citizens
with no safe water for four to five days and even longer for half of the city.
Our products are needed in areas such as these as well as on the homefront. For
instance, our military has truck convoys carrying tens of thousands of gallons
of water for troops and it also continues to utilize reverse osmosis water
purification units.

* Inspired
by the incidents of September 11, researchers at the State University of New
York College of Environmental Science and Forestry are developing a microchip
that will alert authorities when drinking water supplies are contaminated. The
chip will pass a laser beam through the water to measure disruptions caused by
particles from biological and chemical contaminants. It is expected to be on
the market next year.

* In
addition, in March at the Water Quality Association show in Las Vegas, NSF
International reported that it is working with the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) to review technologies and work on protocols for POU
devices for bioterrorist and chemical terrorist agents. NSF will focus its
efforts on reverse osmosis systems, partially because the government already
relies on RO units for military purposes. So, theoretically, RO could gain
faster acceptance as a treatment option. Not everyone at the meeting agreed
that RO was a good technology to start with.

Evan Koslow from KX Industries commented, "ROs are
built for TDS, and they are not going to stop chemicals." The comments
received in the meeting were welcomed and although others agreed with his concerns,
NSF will continue its research and work with the EPA, which hopefully will lead
to the exploration of other technologies as solutions.

As the war continues, our water treatment industry will
continue to rise to the challenges and be there when the government and public
need us. It is a proud time to be a part of an industry that produces such
important technologies.

Best wishes to each of you,

Wendi Hope King

[email protected]


About the author

Wendi Hope King ie editor of WQP.