A Year Later

It was about this time last year that Assembly Bill 1366, the second major legislative challenge to water softeners in California, was being debated in the state legislature. As we all know, the bill eventually passed, although with input from the water treatment community the impact on water dealers was minimized.

In reader surveys, respondents consistently state that regulatory and legislative issues will be important in coming months. The following are some of the regional legislative issues that were brought up at the WQA Aquatech USA 2010 tradeshow:

  • The Pacific Water Quality Assn. has created Strategic Legislative Teams to address specific threats in California water districts. The industry also has representation in the Central Valley Salinity Coalition.
  • In Arizona, a bill has been reintroduced to allow cities to regulate softeners. Cities are looking at possible regulations.
  • In the Eastern U.S., banning of softener discharge into septic systems is an issue in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Delaware has tried to propose a ban. Licensing to install softeners is still an issue in Vermont, Maine and New Jersey.
  • In response to a lawsuit from environmental organizations, the state of Iowa is moving toward implementing very low limits on chloride discharges into rivers. A state standard developed with many stakeholders is waiting U.S. EPA approval.
  • Vermont has adopted a low-lead regulation similar to California. The state DNR passed a law requiring an engineer to design water treatment systems for arsenic, uranium, nitrate and bacteria treatment. The DNR no longer requires engineer design for systems for bacteria treatment, but efforts are still under way for the reversal of other contaminants.
  • In Wisconsin, the Department of Commerce is requiring members to register as a building contractor, and now requires commercial water treatment devices installed on non-community water systems to be approved prior to installation.

We need your help to stay up-to-date on the regulations that are hitting the industry from all directions. What challenges are you facing in your state or region? Do you have any updates on the challenges listed above? Let us know, and we can help raise the awareness needed so you do not have to face them alone.

Top Projects
I am excited to announce the 2010 Water Quality Top Projects awards program, a new initiative Water Quality Products is launching to recognize innovative and successful water quality projects. Did you complete a particularly challenging installation recently? Through the nomination form on www.wqpmag.com, WQP is asking for entries for recent residential and commercial/industrial water quality projects. Nominations must be received by Aug. 20, 2010, and winners will be recognized in the December 2010 Reference Guide issue.

Rebecca Wilhelm is Managing Editor of Water Quality Products. She can be reached at 847/391-1007 or by e-mail at bwilhelm@sgcmail.com

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