Viewpoints

WQP: In your opinion, what are the “must-attend” events for water quality professionals and why?

Cindy Gresham: I believe all water quality professionals should attend the annual WQA Aquatech USA convention, as well as their regional tradeshow and all educational sessions when offered. I believe we can appropriately say that knowledge truly raises a company and a dealer above another. English dramatist, Joseph Addison, was quoted as saying “Knowledge is that which, next to virtue, truly raises one person above another.” I believe we can appropriately say that knowledge truly raises one “company,” one “dealer” above another.

From the largest of manufacturing companies, from large and small OEMs, to the smallest of dealers, we owe it to ourselves and more importantly to our customers, to be the best that we can be and not settle for mediocrity.

Ted Dyer: The state show is the must-attend event for me, as well as my company personnel. It offers ongoing training in existing and new technology, at a cost affordable to most companies.

WQP: How do regional water quality tradeshows differ from international or national events?

Gresham: The regional shows are more intimate than the international and national events. It’s the most comfortable venue in which to begin a career in the water treatment business. Having just finished the FWQA convention in Orlando, with about 40 vendors, I was paying particular attention to the overall benefits of this year’s show not just from a manufacturer’s viewpoint, but the dealers’ viewpoint. The regional show offers dealers a chance to ask as many questions as they wish in a comfortable, non-threatening environment without a dozen people standing there watching them.

Dyer: The biggest difference is the size of the exhibitors’ displays and the training offered to dealers and their personnel.

WQP: What are the benefits of attending or exhibiting at regional tradeshows?

Gresham: I believe the major benefit of a regional tradeshow is the intimacy and familiarity that it offers in comparison to the national shows. Most of the vendors that display at these shows will be suppliers of more than 90% of the products the dealers and OEMs purchase and sell. Exhibiting at regional tradeshows brings legitimacy to businesses, especially companies that support the region year after year, through good times and bad.

Dyer: Meeting suppliers we only are able to communicate with by phone, putting a face to the name, meeting new suppliers, expanding our supplier base and renewing old friendships. Another benefit is meeting new dealers and opening up new markets for new and existing product lines, as well as renewing friendships and showing support for the regional association. In today’s business world, the importance of a unified professional voice, concerning legislation or license issues, is only achieved through a strong local association. This is accomplished by the support of the manufactures, suppliers and OEMs.

WQP: What opportunities does the FWQA’s annual convention and tradeshow offer to area dealers?

Gresham: The FWQA offers a venue for local dealers to talk with their suppliers as well as those who supply to their OEMs. The educational seminars offer a setting for more hands-on training in smaller classes than the national shows—hence providing a less intimidating environment for most of the dealers to learn and ask questions.

Dyer: The ability to see new and emerging technology in water treatment, and get hands-on training with water treatment devices, as well as to stay current on issues concerning the trade on state legislative issues and local issues.

 

Commentary

This is a statement submitted by Severn Trent Services as a response to Purolite’s claims that granular iron-based media has a long term liability, as featured in the Industry News section of the May 2007 issue of Water Quality Products.

Q: Can a utility eliminate environmental liability by selecting one arsenic removal technology over another?

A: Generating, managing and disposing of arsenic-containing residuals in a regulatory compliant manner that is consistent with sound environmental stewardship can present a challenge to utilities. Regulations are written such that the “generators” of a waste share in the responsibility for the complete “cradle-to-grave” process.

Every arsenic removal technology produces a waste that contains arsenic. Wastes are essentially discarded material that are relinquished, recycled, or considered inherently waste-like. Concentrate streams, sludges (from iron removal or CF processes), spent adsorption media and spent ion-exchange media or spent brine all would be considered wastes.

Treatment or recycling (regeneration) of solid and liquid arsenic-containing waste may be conducted at an off-site facility. These third-party commercially operated facilities require a full RCRA treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF) permit. It is the responsibility of the utility to test, manage, store, transport and manifest all wastes in an environmental responsible manner “cradle-to-grave.” To date, no sovereign immunity exists.

As a result, an arsenic removal technology or company offering an arsenic removal technology cannot eliminate a utility’s liability or responsibility for sound environmental stewardship. Based on capital costs, operations/maintenance and programmatic costs (training, monitoring, record keeping, residual management and disposal), Bayoxide® E33 and Bayoxide® E33-P media can offer a utility an environmentally sound and overall cost-effective and safe solution.

 

Water Quality Products gave Purolite the opportunity to respond. Purolite’s statement is included below.

Firstly, disposal of spent arsenic media should always conform to local, state and federal laws and regulations. It should be noted that these laws and regulations can and do vary from region to region, country to country, and in the U.S. from state to state.

In the U.S. the responsibility for the impact of any substance released into the environment is governed by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and that responsibility remains in effect from “cradle-to-grave” including generation, processing and disposal into the environment.

Any spent arsenic removal media disposed of in approved landfills must meet the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) test. This test provides an indication of the rate of leaching of arsenic at mildly acidic pH levels. Most media pass this test easily, so disposal to an approved non-hazardous landfill is normal.

Generally, the actual conditions in most landfills are different from those of the TCLP test, especially pH. Most landfills operate at neutral to alkaline pH and under chemically reducing conditions. Under such conditions, arsenic has been shown to readily leach at high levels from granular iron medias with the potential to get back into the general environment. (University of Arizona Env. Sci & Tech. 2004,38,4677-4682) It is Purolite’s position that the rerelease of any arsenic into the environment presents a continued risk that can be better managed.

In order to mitigate this risk, Purolite uses a regenerable media ArsenXnp Regenerated with the following environmental advantages:

1. ArsenXnp is reused at least 10 times, thus reducing the volume of spent media that must eventually be disposed of in the landfill.

2. Any ArsenXnp that is disposed of in the landfill is first stripped of arsenic so as to eliminate any potential for leaching of arsenic back into the environment.

3. During the regeneration process, arsenic stripped from the ArsenXnp media is further treated so that it can be safely disposed of in an approved landfill.

In other words the ArsenXnp Regenerated process provides a significant level of assurance that arsenic will not re-enter the environment. Traditional iron and titanium-based products, which are used once and disposed of without regeneration, cannot provide this level of assurance. Purolite considers the use of regenerable media the best “Responsible Care” solution available today.

For additional information, contact Water Quality Products at wqpeditor@sgcmail.com.

For more information contact Cindy Gresham at cgresham@thermax-usa.com and Ted Dyer at ted@dycowatersystems.com.

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