The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Finance Center, in collaboration with the...
Awardees made positive impact in wake of Flint water crisis
The Water Quality Assn. (WQA) recognized Mike Mitchell and Dhaval Patel of PUR Water Filtration from Helen of Troy Limited for their contributions to the water treatment industry, singling out their lead testing in Flint, Mich. The awards were presented during the Opening General Session of the 2017 WQA Convention & Exposition in Orlando, Fla.
Both Mitchell and Patel traveled with WQA representatives to Flint in 2016 to meet with residents and learn first-hand about the challenges they faced in light of the water contamination crisis. In partnership with the WQA, they tested the drinking water in several homes to measure the lead levels and ensure that PUR faucet-filtration products could be an effective solution.
“We are so proud of the work that both Mike and Dhaval did in Flint,” said Deb Mudway, marketing vice president, Helen of Troy Home. “PUR realized that the only way to truly understand what was taking place there was to go into people’s homes, test the water, and hopefully educate residents about the benefits of faucet filtration and how PUR products could be a safe solution for their families.”
“Working with Mike and his PUR team while in Flint was a great partnership for the WQA and allowed us to make a real impact in people’s lives,” said WQA Government Affairs Director David Loveday. “We were able to develop relationships with local community members—from individuals at the Red Cross, to local apartment maintenance workers—who wanted to help, but didn’t know where to start. As a team, we comforted and educated residents in need, and helped them gain access to cleaner water.”
Mitchell’s and Patel’s efforts resulted in PUR donating more than 12,000 faucet filtration systems and 40,000 filters, and providing education for Flint residents.
Mike Mitchell is director of advanced technologies for Helen of Troy Health and Home. Mitchell received the Key Award for demonstrating the highest qualities of leadership within his company, industry, various associations, and local, civic and community activities. He joined PUR in 1999 and works to develop innovation strategies around water filtration.
Dhaval Patel, a chemical engineer, received the first-ever Next Gen Award, which honors up-and-coming water treatment professionals and business owners who have demonstrated a commitment to the water treatment industry for the betterment of the industry. Patel joined PUR in 2012 and is responsible for method development to assist in new product development and characterizing current products. He routinely works with WQA and NSF Intl. to better understand regulations and the emerging issues around water quality.