Aug 21, 2020

Industry News: 8/20/2020

The latest in water quality industry news!

drinking water

Helen Of Troy Health & Home Launches PUR Community 

Helen of Troy Limited is launching PUR Community, a new initiative from the Health & Home division, designed to help municipalities experiencing water quality issues with immediate and cost-effective point-of-use filtration solutions. 

This initiative is tailored to address the unique challenges faced by communities across the country, according to the press release.

“With an aging water infrastructure system, more and more communities across the country are experiencing water contamination issues,” said Mike Mitchell, director of advanced technologies of the Health and Home division at Helen of Troy. “Additionally, proposed legislation, such as revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule, present an urgent need for interim solutions and each community requires a unique approach.”

PUR Community will help municipalities design water quality programs across four key components, according to the press release:

  • Consultation: PUR Community will work with municipalities and associated partners to help find solutions that fit the local needs and requirements;
  • Product: PUR Pitchers and Faucet Filtration Systems undergo rigorous testing, both internally and by independent third parties to meet the standards of the Water Quality Association (WQA) and NSF International;
  • Distribution: PURs inventory and distribution network allows for quick support to address both short-term needs and large-scale requests; 
  • Resources: PUR filtration technology is supported with a range of educational materials developed to ensure proper installation and compliance.

PWQA Opposes SB 54 (Allen) & AB 1080 (Gonzalez)  

The Pacific Water Quality Association (PWQA) is opposed to AB 1080 and SB 54, as proposed to be amended by the authors.

According to PWQA, the proposed amendments fail to address the overarching issues that the PWQA has with the bills. The amendments also raise new, significant concerns, reported the PWQA press release. 

“Both bills still require millions in new spending at Cal Recycle, delegate expansive new regulatory and fee authority to Cal Recycle, fail to address on-going challenges with existing programs like the Bottle Bill and the need for significant additional infrastructure statewide to implement the bill, all while the state struggles financially and has slashed spending in other areas,” said PWQA. 

For some businesses, single-use products and single-use packaging covered by the bills are critical to their longevity. 

The following are PWQAs primary concerns with the legislation, but this list is not exhaustive:

Based on draft amendments circulated by the authors on August 5, the following are our primary concerns with the legislation, but is not exhaustive of the problems with the bills:

  • The scope is not limited to plastics only: The proposed amendments contain language that is complicated and open to significant interpretation by Cal Recycle. The bill is not limited to only the plastic portion of a multi-material package. Instead, any shipping container, paper, or glass container used to safely deliver products to consumers will be included if they contain plastic components
  • Source Reduction: A source reduction to the maximum extent feasible is a standalone mandate which is left up to Cal Recycle to determine. Amendments would expand the definition to mean, “the elimination of or net reduction in the amount of single-use packaging or a priority single-use product before it is created.” According to PWQA, this definition could create an impossible standard to regulate or achieve
  • Definitions: Very few terms are defined in the bills. The authors direct Cal Recycle to define recyclable and compostable instead
  • Infrastructure: There is no financial or permitting support for infrastructure
  • Standardization: There is an absence of statewide standardization to create a uniform recycling system for the state
  • Over-the-counter medicines: These medicines are not exempt
  • Stewardship programs: Proposed amendments would reduce the ability of the stewardship organization to ensure cost-effective collection of single-use packaging and products
  • Fees: The fees will be set by emergency regulation, with no cap 
  • Penalties: Penalties are extremely high at up to $50,000 per day/per violation
  • Cal Recycle: The bills may create an unsustainable regulatory program resulting in higher costs of all packaging and products covered by the legislation.

According to PWQA, SB 54 and AB 1080 would delegate an overwhelming amount of authority to Cal Recycle.

Goulds Water Technology Receives NSF certification for Jet Pumps

Goulds Water Technology, a Xylem brand, is one of the first in the industry to offer NSF-61 certified jet pumps for a wide range of residential, agricultural and boosting applications. 

The certification marks that any and all components coming into contact with the water in approved Goulds Water Technology jet pumps are safe for drinking water systems, according to the press release.

“The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is the gold standard in assuring product safety in regards to drinking water and there is nothing more important to our industry than providing safe drinking water,” said Jill Boudreau, Residential Product Line Manager for the Americas. “We understand the criticality of this certification in today’s world and we are proud to provide this on the majority of our jet pumps.” 

Goulds Water Technology offers a variety of jet pumps to choose from, including: shallow well, convertible models, deep well and self-priming pumps.   

More information on Goulds Water Technology NSF-61 certified jet pumps from Xylem can be found here

WQA Expanding Headquarters & Laboratory

The Water Quality Association (WQA) is relocating its international headquarters and laboratory to an expanded, more modern facility. This facility will allow increased capacity and flexibility for product testing and more efficient membership services, according to the press release.

“Constructing our current headquarters in 1982 was a pivotal moment in WQA’s history, and likewise our upcoming move demonstrates our commitment to a growing, dynamic future in the water treatment industry,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “We could not be more excited about the possibilities.”

The building will be built only about a mile from its current headquarters in Lisle, Illinois. The sale of the current building to a nearby non-profit organization was completed in March and WQA was allowed to maintain business in its current space until the move is completed.

The WQA Board of Directors officially approved the relocation plan in April 2019.

Business Outlook & Diversity Talk Headline WQAs 2020 Mid-Year Leadership Conference

A discussion on diversity and inclusion, opportunities to share opinions in a Town Hall and section meetings, a business outlook and a Virtual Wine Tasting to benefit the Water Quality Research Foundation are among the sessions planned for the Water Quality Association’s (WQA) Mid-Year Leadership Conference Sept. 16 & 17.  

Registration is open now at the online event’s website here.

“We have got a great lineup for our annual leadership conference, and by putting it online we are making it accessible to a lot more people,” said WQA President DJ Shannahan in the press release. “We have all been really busy - and distracted - during the COVID-19 pandemic, so this presents an opportunity to put our businesses and our industry first, to brainstorm some good ideas, and to develop some tools for putting  them into practice right away.”

The schedule is as follows:

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Economist Curtis Dubay’s talk on “Where is the Economy in Recovery from the COVID-19 Shock?”
  • Author, coach and consultant Kendall C. Wright’s special address on “Breaking Inclusion Barriers: Moving People and Organizations from Possibility to Reality”
  • The launch of WQRFs Contaminant Occurrence Map
  • The Dealer and Manufacturer/Suppliers sections meetings for presentations and roundtable discussions on top areas of concern identified by the members
  • An opportunity to ask questions of WQA leaders and hear a discussion of the future direction of this vital industry at the WQA Town Hall
  • A Welcome Reception on the eve of the conference that is open to all, whether or not you are registered for MYLC. Attendees will supply their own refreshments and will take part in fun social and networking events.
  • An opportunity to raise funding for WQRF at a Virtual Wine Tasting event the evening of Sept. 17 (separate registration here)

WQA Board, Task Force and Committee meetings normally held during MYLC will be held separately the week of Sept. 20 to allow wider attendance.