Residential drinking water treatment products have a plethora of standards and protocols available to demonstrate that they have been tested and certified to ensure that the materials that come into contact with drinking water are not harmful, the products are structurally sound and the performance reduction claims are accurate. Commercial products were left in the dust, however, and end users do not have a significant amount of guidance within the standards to make the same distinctions about these larger systems.
Certification options for commercial treatment systems
With another year on the books, it is time to look ahead to 2013. As always, the water treatment industry will face a variety of challenges and opportunities in the coming months. Domestically, new regulations loom — some positive, some negative — as California continues to set the legislative tone for the nation. Globally, opportunties await for companies ready to take the international plunge, but the challenges of certification remain.
Industry experts weigh in on what is to come in 2013
Change — it’s one of the few things we can count on, day in and day out. These days, change seems to happen at the speed of light, and while it may seem overwhelming, the many opportunities it brings also can be exhilarating. 2013 is poised to bring a wave of changes to the water treatment industry — and with it, a range of possibilities for those ready to grab them.
Amendment changes the remedy for soil and groundwater contamination at 10th Street Site
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has issued an amendment to the Record of Decision (ROD) for the 10th Street Superfund Site in Columbus, Neb. EPA signed the ROD for the site in February 1995 to address groundwater contamination. The selected remedy for the 1995 ROD was sampling of municipal and monitoring wells and institutional controls to limit exposure to contamination from the site.
Site activities in 2000 and 2001 led to a final ROD issued in 2005. The final ROD selected the following remedies:
Drinking water providers expressed support for the Revised Total Coliform Rule
A diverse group of drinking water providers and environmental and health organizations applauded the announcement of a revised rule to safeguard U.S. drinking water.
A pre-publication copy of the final Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) was released Dec. 20, 2012, by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and will be published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks. Significant improvements were made during the revision process, including new requirements that ensure assessment and corrective action when monitoring results indicate a potential risk of contamination.
The update outlines work currently underway, including the status of research projects
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided an update on its ongoing national study currently underway to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Results of the study, which Congress requested EPA to complete, are expected to be released in a draft for public and peer review in 2014. The update outlines work currently underway, including the status of research projects that will inform the final study.
Update includes setting a limit for E. coli to better protect public health
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated the rule for pathogens in drinking water, including setting a limit for E. coli to better protect public health.
The Revised Total Coliform Rule ensures that all of the approximately 155,000 public water systems in the U.S., which provide drinking water to more than 310 million people, take steps to prevent exposure to pathogens like E. coli. These types of pathogens can cause a variety of illnesses, with symptoms such as acute abdominal discomfort or, in more extreme cases, kidney failure or hepatitis.
EPA awards grants to nonprofit organizations to address worldwide environmental issues
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it awarded more than $1.2 million in grants to 50 nonprofit and tribal organizations working to address environmental justice issues nationwide. Six of those 50 were awarded to organizations within region EPA Region 4 (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) totaling more than $147,000.
Organizations receiving grants in EPA Region 4 include:
Committee members suggest that the contribution of water softeners can be addressed first
Focusing on voluntary limits, the head of the Arizona Salinity Committee suggested last month that legislative solutions may not be attempted in the upcoming 2013 session.
Rep. Karen Fann, who spearheaded the creation of the committee, said she will only run a bill if there is a good product that has been vetted by all stakeholders and has enough support to have a 90% chance of passing. Otherwise, a bill should not be introduced until 2014, she said.
These developments came at a meeting of the Technical Advisory Subcommittee of the committee.
In an effort to ensure that America has the cleanest water possible, on Jan. 4, 2014, a new law reducing the amount of lead allowed in plumbing products will go into effect. Williette Nyanue, assistant editor for Water Quality Products, recently spoke to Barbara Higgens, executive director of Plumbing Manufacturers Intl. (PMI), to discuss the implications of the law and how manufacturers are preparing to comply.
Williette Nyanue: What implications does the new lead law have?