An overview of the WQA 27th Annual Convention & Exhibition
In the midst of sunny Orlando (well, sort of) with theme parks and shopping galore, lay a convention center filled with great promise. Innovative products, treatment options, expertise, networking and a sharing of ideas: all of these are what the WQA promised at this year’s Conference and Trade Show in March. Did it succeed in providing these things to its attendees? With more than 250 exhibitors, 74 hours of educational programming and 75 renowned speakers, how could it miss?
The following will be a quick review of some of the topics at the show. Be sure to call WQA at 630-505-0160 or visit www.wqa.org  for more information on this year’s and next year’s events.
For the first time, the WQA offered a commercial and industrial (C&I) educational session. Thirty attendees were registered for this event that featured speakers such as Philip Olsen of Midwest Water Engineering, Cedar, Minn.; Peter Cartwright of Cartwright Consulting Co., Minneapolis; and Lawrence Henke of Robert B. Hill Co., Minneapolis. With an extra fee for the session, attendees received information on C&I-related topics such as filtration, ion exchange, disinfection and desalination. The WQA was pleased with this year’s turnout and, after working out some scheduling problems, will continue to offer this as an alternative education session during the annual show, reported Roger Miller, chair of the C&I section.
The ongoing project of promoting the C&I session will include increasing promotions for the sectional meeting and educational sessions to WQA members as well as non-members at national and state levels. "We need to establish a target list of people who should be at this meeting," stated Jim Baker of AmeriWater.
Also, David Paulson of Osmonics reported that the charter was approved for the standards committee, and the development of C&I standards for the industry will move forward.
Aside from the buzz about new technologies and companies offering arsenic treatment such as Apyron Technologies that offers Aqua-Bind that can be used in industrial, municipal, environmental, and consumer applications, arsenic easily made the "Top Ten" list of topics at the show. The recent halt the Environmental Protection Agency put on its arsenic MCL standard certainly has raised the concern and attention arsenic has received. Attendees of the seminars found themselves learning everything from the history of arsenic to statistics of occurrence to best treatments for its elimination.
Two educational sessions addressed this important subject by reviewing case studies, regulations and available treatments. Dr. Dennis Clifford from the University of Houston, discussed arsenic’s history. He detailed its structure and gave his predictions on arsenic’s future in the drinking water industry. Also, Thomas Sorg from the EPA presented specifics for POU/POE treatment of arsenic in groundwater. He presented the results of various POU/POE treatments and thier success rates for arsenic removal for the better design and selection of systems.
The WQA announced some of the results of the 2001 National Consumer Water Quality Survey, which "analyzed respondents’ perceptions about their household water supply and other home water quality issues," according to the WQA. Opinion Research Corp. International performed the survey of 1,021 adults. WQA members had access to the report in time for National Drinking Water Week (May 6–12), and were urged by the association to utilize it in their marketing strategies.
The survey revealed that 41 percent of respondents currently use a home water treatment device, and 95 percent of respondents reported being satisfied with the system’s effectiveness. Also, 55 percent of respondents said that a home water treatment system helps sell a home, and one in 10 respondents said they plan on purchasing a household water treatment system within the next year. In addition, 30 percent of respondents said they purchased their systems from a local water treatment dealer, while 26 percent purchased from a department or discount store.
Results of this survey show that the public is much more aware of the quality of their water, they are willing to pay more for better quality, dealers remain the main source for treatment equipment and there certainly may be a niche for dealers whocan provide equipment to new construction housing. The WQA wishes its members to utilize the report for the promotion of National Drinking Water Week as well as all year long for promotions, presentations and planning/business strategies.
After many discussions and requests from members, the retailer/dealer section has decided to move forward with including bottled water in the WQA Conference and Trade Show.
WQA President-Elect C.R. Hall reported that dealers had expressed a lot of interest inincorporating bottled water sessions and exhibitors. "Bottled water has a great future. Dealers are ready to work on the service part and some are bottling for less."
The section will contact the International Bottled Water Association and plans to work with them to reach an agreement on terms.
"It is a retail function and retail/dealer opportunity," said Jack Lorenzen, CWS-V, chair of the retailer/dealer section. "I would love to see a seminar or two at the next show."
Some ideas for sessions include how a dealer can make money on bottled water and how you can begin adding bottled water to your business.
New Products at WQA
AccuFlo Technologies LLC introduced a patented flowmeter technology in a self-contained, compact unit. The faucet meter and direct application meter is constructed of NSF-approved materials. Other features include an LCD, LEDs, quality displayed in gallons or liters, an alarm and accuracy to ±4 percent. Call 925-461-1248.
Touch-Flo Manufacturing Co. displayed the Touch-Flo 0-5Q. This new faucet is lead free, NSF approved, California Prop. 65 compliant and available in all the same styles and spouts as the 0-3 Faucet. Call 800-223-0490 or visit www.touchflo.com .
Sunroc Corp. introduced the Sunrise Plus POU Cooler with an extended reservoir with a 3.5-gallon capcity. Removable front access panel makes for hassle-free cartridge replacement. It is available with or without filtration and as a POU conversion kit. Visit www.sunroc.com .
Claude Laval Corp. presented Lakos TowerMaster, a filtration package designed for eacy installation at small cooling towers to protect the tower basin from the troublesome accumulation of grit, scale, sand and rust. The filtration reduces fouling of the entire cooling water loop, reduces downtime and maintenance routines and improves the performance o chemical treatment. TowerMaster includes separator, pump, solids collection vessel and electrical control panel all mounted on a low-profile skid. For cooling towers as large as 100 tons. Call 559-255-1601.
Osmonics introduced the E-Series ozone generators that produce high concentration ozone—to 10 percent by weight—while efficiently producing up to 6 ppd (114 g/hr) of ozone. The generators contain a water-cooled ozone generation cell with advanced control system in order to produce the high concentration. The units are able to integrate with plant applications or operate as stand-alone units. The operator interface provides security modes for both operator and plant technician.
US Radon Systems, Inc. introduced the AIRaider line (201 and 201E) of diffused bubble aeration systems for radon and VOC removal. The line offers 7 gpm flow rate and a tank size for 44 gallons. Call 800-343-8304 or visit www.usradonsystems.com .
John Guest introduced Single Check Valves available in 1Ú4- and 5Ú16-inch O.D. size. Valves protect against fluid backflow and can be used with most types of fluid. Designed with Super Speedfit technology, the valves connect plastic or soft metal tubing with the use of tools. Call 800-94-JG-USA.
The Dow Chemical Co. introduced a new line of low-energy water purification membrane products for commercial and light industrial appplications. The Extra Low Energy (XLE) series elements are targeted for system producing up to 10 gpm where low pressure operation is desired. The membrane is a thin-film composite, polyamide membrane that operates at 100 psig or 6.9 bar with 99 percent stablized salt rejection. The elements are available in dry state for rapid start-up. Call 517-636-9086 or visit www.filmtec.com .
Water-Right presented the Sanitizer, a self-chlorinating water conditioner designed to eliminate iron and sulfur bacteria. In addition, the Eclipse RO drinking water system, as well as filters and neutralizers were featured. Also shown was Crystal-Right media, a man-made crystal mineral that effectively removes hardness, iron and manganese while neutralizing low pH levels—all in a single pass.