WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference Update

WQP: Could you give an update on the California DHS’s acceptance of ANSI-accredited product certifications for compliance with California’s Device Certification Law?

Joseph F. Harrison: The California DHS is reviewing product bracketing and data transfer procedures submitted by the WQA and NSF for NSF/ANSI standards 44 and 53. The WQA also submitted its data transfer procedures for NSF/ANSI standards 55, 58 and 62. However, California has responded that they are not comfortable approving those at this time. On Sept. 20, 2006, DHS returned to the WQA and NSF a document titled: “Minimum Criteria for Data Transfer for NSF/ANSI Standards 44 and 53,” as well as comments on the procedures submitted to the DHS. The DHS has also prepared a draft of the third-party certification agreement, but it is undergoing state legal review before it can be sent to the WQA and NSF.

WQP: Are the WHO results on the calcium and magnesium issue available, and what is the most current update?

Harrison: The expected report has not been issued yet from the WHO expert meeting following the Calcium and Magnesium Symposium held April 24 to 26, 2006, in Baltimore, Md. In spite of opposition and arguments of ill-support, it is expected that the expert’s report may advise that calcium and magnesium should be reconstituted to drinking waters where it has been removed by a drinking water treatment process.

WQP: What is the status of the proposed Canada B483 standard, which would require additional testing for drinking water treatment units installed in Canada?

Harrison: The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B483 Technical Committee is now in the process of responding to the public comments submitted on the March 21, 2006, proposed CSA B483 Standard for Drinking Water Treatment Systems. This standard will add ASME 112 and CSA B125 “Plumbing Supply Fittings” requirements for POU and POE water treatment devices. The technical committee has proposed that POE products be excluded except for materials safety and structural integrity requirements for components.

After the Sept. 18 and 19, 2006, meeting of the CSA B483 Technical Committee, it is expected the B483 Standard will be balloted to the CSA committee for written votes and comments, and then be finalized and promulgated by CSA in the later half of 2007. After that, this standard could become mandatory as selected Canadian provinces begin to adopt it.

WQP: What are the plans for the direction of the WQA/NOWRA site survey project?

: A mutual cooperation agreement has been developed through the WQA Board of Governors and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA). The WQA Board of Directors will now send this through a WQA legal review and make a few additional minor changes reported at their Sept. 8, 2006, meeting, such as removing the word “National” from “National Water Quality Association.” The agreement will next be signed by WQA and NOWRA.

The WQA Onsite Wastewater Issues Task Force, together with the NOWRA Technical Committee, has developed a Residential Evaluation Survey Instrument questionnaire that will be used by a joint task force of WQA and NOWRA members to assess actual onsite wastewater systems with water conditioning discharges. This survey form has been spearheaded primarily by D.J. Shannahan of the WQA and Dr. Bruce Lesikar of Texas A&M University. The WQA’s interest is to include working onsite waste systems that are receiving household water treatment discharges in this evaluation study.

Longer-term, the WQA and NOWRA are discussing the possibility of going to a university graduate program and the NSF test site for advanced wastewater treatment units operated at Baylor University for more comprehensive and conclusive research answers to whether home water treatment discharges affect or do not affect adversely onsite wastewater treatment systems.

An organization of state onsite wastewater regulators will be having a national meeting in spring of 2007. Shannahan has subsequently made contact with the Delaware representative to this group, and will attend the Delaware state meeting of the group this fall. The task group feels it is imperative to get regulators’ buy-in to this planned research and to the results that will come from it.

WQP: Could you provide a brief background of the activated carbon anti-dumping issue? Can the industry expect activated carbon prices to be affected in 2007?

: There has been an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on imports of steam or CO2 activated carbon from the People’s Republic of China. The petition requesting this investigation was filed by the Calgon Carbon Corp. and Norit Americas, Inc. The petitioners are asking for a 100% duty on GAC imported from China. The current duty is 4.8%. At the convening of ITC’s preliminary injury determination in April 2006, the vote was six in favor and zero against the decision that there is reasonable indication that imports from China are injuring or threatening material injury to the U.S. domestic industry. The DOC is scheduled to make its more complete determination by the end of October 2006. Pending a final affirmative determination by both the DOC and the ITC, an enforceable order will issued by the end of December 2006. In the interim, vendors of activated carbon are having difficulty quoting firm prices for 2007 because of the potential impact for new duties to be imposed.

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About the author

For more information, contact Joseph F. Harrison, P.E., CWS-VI, technical director of the WQA, at 630.505.0160, or by e-mail at [email protected].