Examining The Trend Toward ETV Programs

The concept of environmental technology verification (ETV) is growing in popularity around the globe as a way for governments to provide the global marketplace with assurance that the environmental performance claims of their “home-grown” technology companies are valid, credible and supported by quality independent test data and information.

In the U.S., the EPA launched its ETV program more than 10 years ago. The U.S. EPA ETV (www.epa.gov/etv), like the Canadian ETV, uses “public/private testing partnerships to evaluate the performance of environmental technology in all media: air, water, soil, ecosystems, waste, pollution prevention, and monitoring.” The EPA ETV also verifies monitoring and treatment technologies relevant to water security.

Drinking Water Systems

In the U.S., the EPA’s ETV program for drinking water systems is managed by a partnership between NSF International and the EPA. As a result of this partnership, the Drinking Water Systems (DWS) Center was launched in 2000 to manage the ETV program for drinking water. The ETV DWS Center was mandated to focus primarily on drinking water treatment technologies for use in small communities and residences. They also pay attention to the performance and cost factors for treatment technologies that are meant specifically to overcome small communities’ drinking water concerns including arsenic, microbiological contaminants, particulates and disinfection byproducts.

In 2002, the DWS Center also began verifying home water treatment systems for their ability to remove chemical and biological agents of concern. To that end, the DWS Center identified the following key categories of technologies that have water security applications: reverse osmosis-based point-of-use devices for removal of microbiological and chemical agents; multiple-technology point-of-entry systems for removal of microbiological and chemical agents; and cartridge and other filters, mechanical filtration systems, and ultra-violet (UV) systems for reduction of microbiological agents.

International Harmonization of Protocols and Test Methods

It is universally agreed that national ETV programs need to be linked through international harmonization of verification protocols and test methods, and reciprocity agreements. To that end, reciprocity agreements are being forged across geographic regions so that technologies that are ETV-listed in one country will be recognized and listed in other countries’ ETV programs.

In 2005, 14 countries met in the U.S. to develop cooperative mechanisms in their ETV programs. Participating countries included Canada, the European Union, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, the Netherlands and the U.S. Some regions, such as the European Union, the Republic of South Korea and China, are in the process of establishing their own ETV programs, and as more of these programs evolve, we can expect to see more global harmonization and reciprocity agreements. These advances will help emerging economies and global buyers, who are addressing similar urgent needs for environmental solutions, identify and implement world-leading environmental technologies such as those from UV Pure Technologies.

UV Pure Technologies Receives ETV in Canada

As an example of how these programs work, UV Pure Technologies, Inc. received the ETV Canada award at the international Globe 2006 Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver this past March. UV Pure’s products are the only UV systems in the Canadian marketplace that have the Canadian ETV (www.etvcanada.ca) award at this time. UV Pure’s award was based on the verification of the key performance claims made by UV Pure Technologies, Inc. with respect to its Hallett Series of water purification systems.

This ETV verification offers global buyers of UV Pure’s systems an additional assurance, or government seal of authenticity, in addition to Hallett’s NSF/ANSI 55 Class A certification. The verification means that the Canadian ETV program, founded and supported by Environment Canada, confirms the system’s performance. Because the proprietary Crossfire Technology that drives the Hallett system’s performance is the same core technology used in UV Pure’s new line of Upstream systems, the ETV award also indirectly validates the performance claims of the Upstream water purification systems.

Performance Claims

The ETV award verified the following performance claims:

1. The Hallett 30 and Hallett 13 are certified according to NSF/ANSI Standard 55 to conform to Disinfection Performance Class A, at flow rates of 30 and 13.3 gpm respectively, and according to NSF/ANSI Standard 55 Material Extraction w/o Media.

2. The Hallett 30 and Hallett 13, when operated at flow rates of 30 and 10 gpm respectively, produce a minimum UV dose of 40 mJ/cm2 at the end of lamp life, with 95% confidence.

3. The Hallett 13 UV system, when tested in a cold air and cold water environment at normal flow rate, maintains an average UV output within 1.5% for 20?C air temperature and 1?C water temperature; and maintains an average UV output within 4.5% for 1?C air temperature and 1?C water temperature, with 95% confidence.

4. The Hallett 30 and Hallett 13 systems were tested according to requirements of the Province of Quebec, Environment Ministry “Evaluation Technique du Comité sur les Technologies de Traitement en Eau Potable,” and were granted the classification “Niveau de developpement: Éprouvé.”

Verification Approach

All ETV programs use independent, third-party agencies to verify technology performance claims. In the case of UV Pure’s technology verification, the following sources were used:

  • NSF/ANSI 55 test reports were submitted in support of the first performance claim;
  • Documents from GAP EnviroMicrobial Services were submitted in support of the second performance claim;
  • The Province of Quebec approval document was submitted in support of the third performance claim; and
  • The verification of the submitted reports was completed by Andrews, Hofmann and Associates, Ltd. using ETV Canada’s General Verification Protocol (March 2000).

Conclusion

ETV programs eliminate risk for private-sector and governmental buyers from other countries who are looking to purchase ETV-awarded technologies. This supports one of the underlying goals of ETV programs, which is to accelerate the use of new environmental technologies that have the potential to improve protection of human life and the environment.

As the demand for UV technology in drinking water applications continues to grow, so will the demand for proof of performance.

Rick VanSant is president and CEO of UV Pure Technologies, Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada. He can be reached at 888.407.9997.

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