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The Information Source for Water Treatment Professionals




Also in this issue:

Answers about ozone..page 12

The water toothbrush test..page 24



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water treatment professionals.

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selectivity - n. the quality of carefully
choosing someone or something as the
best or most suitable.
Aries FilterWorks offers a wide selection of water filters
and systems to meet any of your water purification needs.
Aries products improve your drinking water by removing
harmful contaminants and eliminating unwanted
taste and odor.
All Aries FilterWorks products are built around
ResinTech premium media that are highly
selective across a broad range of contaminants.
Unlike most manufacturers, AFW offers the
freshest media available for your cartridges.
Complete lot traceability assures the quality of
your filters from production to delivery.
Enjoy your water the way its supposed to
be: Pure, Clean, and Delicious.
Call AFW or your local distributor for
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Volume 38 Number 1 January 2015

Cover Story

Hit the mark with targeted marketing

Listen to customers when it comes to this critical area of your business.



Contaminant of the Month: Benzene

Benzene is a known human carcinogen EPA Group A, based
upon occupational epidemiology.


2015 International Activated

Carbon Conferences and courses
Preview of upcoming technical presentations offered by PACS.



Water quality systems and the toothbrush test

See how you can reach your target market guaranteed.


Educating customers the right way

when it comes to nitrates


Once nitrate enters groundwaters, it can stay for a while.

Product Center


Providing clean water to the developing world

The importance of creating immediate and practical strategies.

10 Products & Services

A showcase of manufacturers products and services.
This month: NSF certified filters; pH probe with smart
technology; water dealer sales app; and more.

The Information Source for Water Treatment Professionals

13 Professor POU/POE


This months topic: Salinity in drinking water.




4............................................................................................................................. Upfront
6.......................................................................................................Around the Industry
12............................................................................................Certification Action Line
26..................................................................................................... Around the Internet
33............................................................................................... Reader Service Center
34................................................................................................................. Marketplace
36.................................................................................................................... Classifieds

www.WaterTechOnline.com Volume 38 Number 1 January 2015

Also in this issue:

Answers about ozone..page 12

The water toothbrush test..page 24

Cover photo credit: Warchi/Signature/iStock


2 Water Technology January 2015




Free Info: 203 or WaterTechOnline.com/freeinfo


Tracy Aston-Martin

Rising through the

clutter of marketing
The challenge of being where customers are.

Lisa Williman
Lisa Williman

Tracy Aston-Martin
Brad Youngblood
Delicia Poole
Anna Hicks


n last months issue of Water Technology, we published the article, Next level
service with smart equipment. For the article, we interviewed some water
treatment professionals about the impact of technology on todays dealers,
manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end users.
Using technology in front of the customer elevates your companys status among
many end users today.
However, an area that continues to be a concern among most dealers, according
to our annual benchmarking survey, is advertising
and marketing; in other words, giving your company a chance to meet with customers face-to-face. In
the aforementioned article, one contributor keenly
noticed where the first point of dealer-customer contact often happens today online. Homeowners
do about 60 percent of their research online before
they even visit the store, stated Kathleen Fugler of
Pentair Filtration & Process.
By Rich DiPaolo
In addition to an attractive storefront, it is
Editorial Director
becoming increasingly important for dealers
Water Technology Magazine
to have a user-friendly, virtual storefront. And,
in terms of advertising and marketing your
business, some online options are free or cost
effective. However, some may require a sizable investment.
By now, most business owners have at least heard of the buzzwords in online
marketing that have evolved in recent years, such as content marketing and search
engine optimization (SEO). Ranking high on search engine results is a goal most
companies are trying to weave into their digital marketing strategy. Popular search
sites continually change their search algorithms, forcing your company to commit
significant resources to stay updated on these changes and produce the content.
Of course, online marketing, while an increasingly important area of advertising
and marketing, is only one source of promoting your business and being where the
customers are. In marketing, dealers should strike a balance in their strategies and let
the target market dictate where your focus, and money, should be. We feature this
topic and more in this edition of Water Technology.

Rich DiPaolo
Maria Woodie
Joseph Cotruvo

Marty Harris
Marty Harris

Barry Lovette
Brent Kizzire
Mike Wasson

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The publisher reserves the right to reject any and all materials not in keeping
with the publications standards, whether such standards are written or not. The
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To find editorial topics planned for upcoming issues, go to:
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Water Technology Advisory Board

David Chew, Fairmount Water Solutions, Chardon, OH; Stephen Grandeau, CWS-V, AQUASCIENCE
of New York, Clifton Park, NY; Cang Li, Ph.D., Selecto Scientific, Inc., Suwanee, GA; Matthew
Wirth, Pargreen Water Technologies, Chicago, IL; Norm Marowitz, Region-X, Taunton, MA; Steven
Richards, CWS-VI, CI, CSR, CCO, The Aqua Source Group, Inc., Honeoye, NY; Dr. Joseph Cotruvo of
Joseph Cotruvo & Associates, LLC, Washington, DC.

4 Water Technology January 2015


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U.S. House subcommittee

hears testimony on cyanotoxin
American Water Works Association
(AWWA) President John Donahue stressed
in testimony before the U.S. House
Subcommittee on Environment and the
Economy that the solution to keep drinking water safe from cyanotoxins begins
with reducing nutrient pollution. The subcommittee hearing was in response to the
August 2014 event in Toledo, Ohio, where
cyanotoxin microcystin was found in finished water as a result of an algal bloom in
Lake Erie, causing a do not drink advisory
to be issued for more than 400,000 people.
Donahue explained in the testimony that
cyanotoxin contamination is associated
with excessive amounts of nitrogen and
phosphorus in water. The testimony also
highlighted measures AWWA has undertaken to help address the issue, including
training on protocols for responding to
drinking water emergencies, the creation
of materials on safeguarding against algal
blooms and the development of a cyanotoxins guide for utility managers.

60 Minutes features segment

on turning wastewater into
drinking water
CBS News program 60 Minutes
featured a segment on how the Orange
County Water District turns 96 million gallons a day of treated wastewater, including
sewage, into purified drinking water. The
report, Water, ends with CBS Reporter
Lesley Stahl taking a sip of the purified
water. There are many water utilities across
the U.S. taking progressive measures to
develop a drought-proof, sustainable water
supply to help meet public, industrial,
agricultural and environmental demands,
including: Palm Beach County Utilities in
Florida, Wichita Falls in Texas and LOTT
Clean Water Service in Oregon.

EPA provides assistance

to boost climate resilience
for water utilities
EPA announced up to $600,000 will
6 Water Technology January 2015

be provided in training and technical assistance to help water utilities in more than
20 communities strengthen their climate
change readiness and resilience. Wastewater,
stormwater and drinking water utilities
will participate in a multiyear program to
help prepare for potential impacts from climate change. The communities will receive
technical assistance in using EPAs Climate
Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool,
software helping users identify threats, assets
and adaption options to help lower risk from
climate change. Potential challenges include:
Intense, frequent storms, droughts, flooding,
changes to water quality and rises in sea levels.

New report addresses

investment strategies
for U.S. aging infrastructure
Infrastructure at The Evergreen State
College released a report, Infrastructure
Crisis, Sustainable Solutions: Rethinking
Our Infrastructure Investment Strategies,
to help the public, industry leaders and
academics rethink how communities are
planned and the types of investments
needed to operate, manage and rehabilitate
U.S. infrastructure systems. The report
features a variety of applications to urban
planning and the water, transportation
and power industries in particular, and
includes 70 interviews from the Pacific
Northwests key infrastructure innovators and thought leaders representing an
array of sectors. Findings in the report
shows infrastructure investments will have
a direct impact on the U.S. environment,
economy and local communities.

Dow releases infographic

on water reuse and global
water scarcity
Dow Water & Process Solutions released
an infographic, Reuse to the Rescue: Learn
How Advanced Technology Can Help
Combat Water Scarcity, on water reuse. The
infographic highlights a three-step process of
microfiltration, reverse osmosis (RO) and
ultraviolet (UV) light to treat wastewater.
Treating wastewater for reuse can ultimately

help reduce global water scarcity, explains

Dows infographic, adding that one billion
people around the world do not have access
to clean drinking water. The infographic also
features a variety of statistics, including but
not limited to: Half the world population
will face water scarcity by 2030; China has a
water deficit of 10.5 trillion gallons of water
per year; and recycled sewage will be a common source of drinking water around the
world within 30 years.

Canature N.A. changes

company name after
recent acquisition
With the recent acquisition of
WaterGroup Companies, Canature N.A.
Inc. will now be known as Canature
WaterGroup. New products will be
introduced under the WaterGroup and
Hydrotech trade names, featuring new
designs and technologies for residential
and commercial applications. As part of a
long-term strategy, Canature WaterGroup
has renegotiated its supply agreement with
Pentair for Fleck products, and the company will continue to offer Fleck products
during a transition period and aftermarket parts ongoing. Canature WaterGroup
plans to continue its growth plan with the
addition of regional distribution facilities
located in highly populated water quality

EPA awards SBIR grant

for a portable instrument
analyzing cyanotoxin levels
EPA announced that HJ Science &
Technology Inc., located in Berkeley,
California, received a $300,000 Small
Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
grant to build a portable instrument to
analyze cyanotoxins in surface waters. This
portable instrument will help to protect
people from potentially harmful toxic
algal blooms in lakes and rivers. High
cyanotoxin levels can threaten the health
of people and wildlife. Levels are typically
measured by collecting field samples and
bringing them to a laboratory for analysis, which can be a time consuming and


cost-prohibitive process. Once the new

portable lab-on-a-chip instrument that
monitors and detects cyanotoxins in the
field is built, HJ Science & Technology
will field test the new instrument at Pinto
Lake, a popular recreational spot new
Santa Cruz, California, that experiences
seasonal toxic algal blooms.

RainSoft remembers its

founder, John Grayson
John Grayson, founder of RainSoft,
passed away on Nov. 28, 2014, at the age of
89 after a lingering illness. Grayson founded
RainSoft Water Conditioning Company,
now known as RainSoft, in 1953, and grew
the international company through a combination of his engineering, salesmanship,
motivation, innovation and entrepreneurial
skills. Grayson is credited with designing
and patenting the industrys first sevencycle valve and blow-molded plastic cabinet.
He invented and supervised the development of several patented water treatment
breakthroughs throughout his years with
RainSoft. Around 37 years after starting
RainSoft, in 1990 Grayson retired his controlling interest in the company to what
would become Aquion Inc.

WRF project will help water

utilities control leakage losses
The Water Research Foundation
(WRF) announced plans to help water
utilities better understand and control
leakage in a cost-effective manner through
recently completed research and the development of a new leakage analysis tool. The
Water Audits and Real Loss Component
Analysis project (#4372) supplies water
utilities with information to more effectively understand the sources of their
losses from leakage throughout the water
distribution system, as well as a tool to
help analyze economic impacts of several
intervention strategies. In order to develop
a proactive, effective leakage loss reduction
strategy, utilities must undertake three significant steps: An evaluation of least-cost
real losses as a subcategory on nonrevenue
water, a top-down water audit and a

component analysis of real losses. The

WRF and EPA sponsored the research
project, which involved 10 utilities of
varying sizes from across North America.

draws, with total withdraws down by 13

percent between 2005 and 2010, as well
as a 20 percent decline in withdraws for
thermoelectric power and a nine percent
decline in irrigation withdraws.

IBWA releases study on

bottled water industrys
water and energy use

NGWA reveals the Supplier

of the Year Award winner

The results of the International Bottled

Water Associations (IBWA) second benchmarking study reveal the amount of water
and energy used to produce water products in North America is still less than any
other type of packaged beverages. On average, 1.32 liters of water, including the liter
of water consumed, and 0.24 mega joules
of energy are used to produce one liter of
finished bottled water. In total, 76 North
American bottled water facilities contributed to the study, a 20 percent increase
in participation from the inaugural study
conducted last year. Participating facilities
in the current study represent 21.6 million
liters of bottled water production, around
56 percent of the total 2013 U.S. bottled
water consumption.

Mark Durham of Gicon Pumps &

Equipment Ltd. received the National
Ground Water Association (NGWA)
Supplier of the Year Award. The award
is presented to an individual demonstrating leadership and volunteerism in promoting groundwater and groundwaterrelated issues to the industry as well as
to the public. Throughout the past 20
years, Durham has conducted more than
30 48-hour training courses in pumping systems theory and application to
around 600 people, including employees
and other pump system professionals such
as water well system contractors and engineers. Durham was presented the award
during the 2014 NGWA Groundwater
Expo and Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

The Hamilton Project evaluates

differences in U.S. water use

City of Lima to
reduce sewage overflows

The severe drought in Western parts of

the U.S. has called national attention to
U.S. water resources. The current drought
in California has cost the state billions of
dollars in economic losses, and businesses
across the nation report substantial concerns over water supplies. The Hamilton
Project, using newly released data, presents an economic analysis and accompanying interactive feature to illustrate the
variation in the level and nature of water
use across the nation. Americans withdraw
more than 1,000 gallons of water per
person each day, putting U.S. per capita
water withdraws among the highest in
the world; however, not all of this water
is consumed or used up. Water scientists
distinguish between water withdraws and
water consumption, and more of U.S.
water withdraws go to power generation
and irrigation. Conservation efforts have
led to marked declines in total water with-

The state of Ohio, the U.S. Department

of Justice and EPA announced a Clean
Water Act settlement has been made with
the city of Lima, Ohio, to resolve claims of
untreated sewer discharges released during
wet weather into the Ottawa River. The
proposed consent decree requires Lima
to make considerable structural improvements to help control sewage overflows and
eliminate overflows from the sanitary sewer
system. The consent decree also requires
Lima to significantly increase the capacity of its wastewater treatment from
30 million gallons per day to 70 million
gallons a day. Lima will reduce sewer overflows by partially or fully separating sewer
lines and stormwater, installing a pump
system and by building a 13 million-gallon
storage tank. Overall improvements will
cost around $147 million, and Lima will
also pay $49,000 as a civil penalty, split
evenly to Ohio and the U.S.
www.WaterTechOnline.com 7


The Water Quality Association
(WQA) announced that the WQA Board
of Governors has selected David Westman
as the new interim executive director. In
this role, Westman will be responsible for
guiding the organization and conducting a comprehensive review of WQAs
governance structures, financial management, core processes and staff functions.
He has had a career in both association
and corporate settings and has led or
consulted on behalf of such groups as the
American Dental Association, College of
Neurological Surgeons and Emergency
Nurses Association. Westman holds an
MBA in finance and marketing from the
University of Chicago and is a certified
public accountant (CPA) and certified
association executive (CAE).

AdEdge Water Technologies announced

that Chad Miller has been promoted to
product manager for the biottta fixed-bed
biofiltration technology. Before his promotion, Miller worked as a project manager for
AdEdge since 2009, and in his new role, he
will be responsible for team efforts related
to marketing, sales and design of the new
product launch. Millers career in the water
treatment industry began in 1997, and he has
since provided services and application support for ion exchange, membranes, adsorption, filtration, advanced oxidation and other
treatment approaches serving manufacturing,
retail and municipal drinking water markets.
Synagro Technologies announced
that Mary Lynn Smedinghoff has joined
the company as vice president and chief
human resources officer. Smedinghoff will

be responsible for developing the strategic

direction and formulation of all company
human resource policies, systems, initiatives
and procedures in alignment with the direction and expansion of Synagro. She has considerable experience in talent management,
compensation, organizational development,
payroll, benefits, manufacturing, human
resource shared services and labor relations,
publishing, environmental services and consumer related industries. Before her new
position with Synagro, Smedinghoff served
as the executive vice president, chief human
resources officer for Veolia Environnement.
She has a masters degree in human resources
and labor relations from Michigan State
University and a bachelors degree in management from the University of Illinois at

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8 Water Technology January 2015

Free Info: 206 or WaterTechOnline.com/freeinfo



Follow Water Technology

on Twitter.

Subscribe to the print edition

or digital edition.



Become a Water Technology

Friend & Fan on Facebook.

Share & view in-the-field experiences,

products, tips & tactics.



Want more great info

from Water Technology?
Visit the all new website.

Sign up for WaterTech e-News

Daily TM. A daily news service for
water treatment professionals.

Whether youre looking to buy or browse, find out
more about the products seen in our publication.
www.WaterTechOnline.com 9

Products & Services

Water dealer sales app

3M Purification Inc. introduces the 3M

Water Dealer Sales App, a new, high-tech
sales tool for 3M Authorized Water Dealers.
The iPad-compatible app helps combine
the brand power of 3M with the dealers
own water quality expertise for an engaging sales experience. Packed with interactive features, videos, social elements,
dynamic time savings calculators, animated
examples, installation notes and point-ofpurchase options, the 3M app equips water
dealers to demonstrate the features and
benefits of a complete, home water quality

Transportable crawler
inspection camera

Digital flowmeter
with analog output

Traditionally, pipeline inspection cameras

operate from a power source in a vehicle or
conveniently located building. However, the
Mini-Cam Proteus crawler camera inspection system can now be hired from Ashtead
Technology with a battery power pack. By
operating from a battery pack, the Proteus
can run for over five hours. The complete,
self-contained system can be mounted on
a trolley for inspecting pipes, culverts, cavities, drains and sewers. Transportable and
extremely quiet, the Proteus is ideal for
residential locations.

Blue-White Industries Ltd.s BW DIGIMETER Micro-Flo with Analog Output displays flow rate and accumulated total flow
and features 4-20 mA/0-10 VDC circuitry for
low flow applications. Units include an NPN
open collector output for communication
with SCADA systems. Flow ranges consist
of 30-7,000 ml/min. There are a number of
connection options. A clear PVC viewing
lens allows for visual confirmation of flow.
A PVDF chemical resistant lens is also available. The LCD display indicates operating
mode and battery status.

3M Purification Inc.

Ashtead Technology

Blue-White Industries Ltd.

Circle 110

Circle 111

Circle 112

pH probe with
smart technology

Hanna Instruments Inc. introduces HALO,

the worlds first professional pH probe with
Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth 4.0) technology.
It features a wireless design and a unique,
rhythmic, blue indicator light. Its a high quality, double junction, refillable glass pH probe
with a built-in temperature sensor that can be
used virtually anywhere: In the field, laboratory
or classroom. Using Bluetooth technology,
HALO transmits measurement data directly to
an iPad (3rd generation or newer) running the
free Hanna Lab App.

Ultrafiltration cartridge

Certified filters

Koch Membrane Systems Inc. (KMS) introduces the PURON MP hollow fiber product
line. The PURON MP ultrafiltration cartridge
is designed for high-solids water and wastewater applications, including surface water
treatment, reverse osmosis pretreatment and
tertiary wastewater treatment. It simplifies
operation, eliminates clarifier pretreatment in
many applications, minimizes downtime and
reduces chemical usage to provide a lower
total cost of ownership. It features advanced
cartridge design for better solids management
and virtually unbreakable reinforced hollow
fiber for superior reliability.

MTN Products is proud to be offering the

Icon eco3 filters. The new eco3 range of
NSF certified filters has been developed to
ensure a more sustainable green solution,
which delivers improved cost effectiveness
over current filter offerings while still delivering the highest quality of water. It is the
only filtration range in the market today that
offers hygienic recyclable filters together
with the flexibility to utilize a wide range of
filtration media to meet customer needs.

Hanna Instruments Inc.

Koch Membrane Systems Inc.

MTN Products

Circle 113

Circle 114

Circle 115

10 Water Technology January 2015


Visit www.wqa.org/Aquatech
to register and to reserve your room.

Your registration fee covers it all!

Trade show
Educational sessions
Hands-on training
Ask the Expert Q & A sessions
Welcome reception
Opening General Session & keynote speaker

Benefits of staying in the

WQA housing block:
Low rates
Easy booking
Flexible terms
Support WQA Aquatech USA
More opportunities to socialize and connect

Exposition Dates

Education Sessions

April 22 & April 23, 2015

April 21 thru April 24, 2015

Las Vegas Convention Center

Free Info: 208 or WaterTechOnline.com/freeinfo

Organized by


The accepted concentration (C) and contact time (t) of ozone for
99.9 percent (3 log) inactivation of viruses is:
a. 0.1 milligrams per liter for 15 seconds
b. 0.5 milligrams per liter for five minutes
c. 0.4 milligrams per liter for four minutes


Clear water containing polyvalent ions and organic materials can

produce turbid or cloudy water upon ozonation. (True or False)


Trihalomethanes (THMs) are readily oxidized by ozonation.

(True or False)


A monitoring device that can be used to control a continuous level

of ozone in a storage tank or circulating water system is a:
a. Venturi meter
b. Oxidation-Reduction Potential meter
c. DPD analyzer

1. False. Ozone has been used in Europe to treat drinking water and
swimming pool waters for taste and odor control and disinfection since

The amount of ozone transferred to the water is dependent on:

a. The concentration of ozone in gases exiting the ozone generator
b. The size of the bubbles in the water
c. The rate the bubbles rise through the water

2. False. Ozone is a rapidly acting and thorough disinfectant. However, it also dissipates rapidly having a half-life in water on the order of
minutes. Ozone can be effectively used as a primary water disinfectant,
but in municipal water treatment, ozone is typically followed by small
amounts of a chlorine compound for residual purposes. Much of the
waters chlorine demand is satisfied by the ozonation step.


3. True. Ozone is a very powerful oxidant, and is very effective as a

prefiltration step in the reduction of iron, manganese, sulfides, organically-bound heavy metals, color, taste and odor organics, turbidity and
trihalomethane precursors.

Ultraviolet (UV) light ozone generation is the only way to avoid

creation of high concentrations of nitric acid, which can be very
corrosive to downstream equipment. (True or False)

4. False. By drying the air feed gas to at least -30 C dew point, the
production rate of corrosive nitrogen oxides can be minimized and the
production rate of ozone maximized. Ten to 100 times higher ozone
concentrations can be produced by corona discharge generators. The
corona discharge production rate is more constant and uses 1/5 or less
of the electrical energy than that of UV radiation ozone generators.


5. a, b and c. The higher the concentration of ozone in the gas bubble,

the finer the bubble and the longer the bubble is in contact with the
water are all critical to increasing the amount of ozone transferred to
the water.

Ozone is used more as a chemical oxidant in water treatment

than as a disinfectant. (True or False)

6. c. French public health scientists demonstrated that 99.9 percent

inactivation of Poliovirus Type I, II and III occurred by exposure to 0.4
milligrams per liter of ozone in water for four minutes, or a Ct value
of 1.6. Bacteria are more rapidly destroyed by ozone than viruses. An
ozone Ct value of 1.6 can also provide 3 log inactivation of Giardia
cysts if water temperature is about 50 F; at colder water temperature
ozone Ct requirements can increase to 2.9 for Giardia cyst inactivation.


7. True. The partial oxidation of some organic compounds by

ozonation can produce complex materials with cations such as calcium,
magnesium, iron, aluminum and manganese. These materials become
insoluble and form microflocs. When such microfloculation and
increased turbidity occurs, ozonation needs to be followed by filtration.

Ozone disinfectant in water produces a stable residual to ensure

continued sanitation of the water as it flows through the pipes
and to consumers taps. (True or False)

8. False. Halogenated organic compounds, such as trihalomethanes

(THMs), are generally much more resistant to oxidation, even by
ozone, than are the precursor, nonhalogenated organics. Removal of
THMs in drinking water ozonation treatment is due mostly to the
physical air stripping of the volatile THMs by the aerating action of
the ozone/air mixture bubbling through the water.


9. b. An Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP) meter or monitor/

controller can be used to continuously measure the potential of the
water to oxidize contaminants in the water. A minimum ORP level
of 700 millivolts can ensure disinfected water. A two-electrode ORP
monitor can be used to automatically call for more ozone feed and to
shut off ozone feed when levels are respectively low or high, thereby
maintaining the water bacteria-free.

Ozone was first initiated as a water treatment technology in 1974

with the discovery of chloroform, a disinfection byproduct, in
drinking water. (True or False)

10. a, b and c.

12 Water Technology January 2015

a. Heating to 600 F
b. Palladium, manganese or nickel oxides
c. Granular activated carbon

10. Excess ozone can be destroyed by:


Certification Action Line features questions and answers typical of those appearing in Water Quality Association (WQA)
certification examinations. Some answers may not satisfy everyone or every condition.

Answers to these questions appear at the bottom of this page.

Questions about ozone

By The Water Quality Association (WQA)



By Joseph Cotruvo, Technical Editor

Professor POU/POE
This months topic: Salinity in drinking water.

What is salinity in water? Is it good or bad?

Salinity means lots of different salts. It can be either good or bad.

Salinity (dissolved solids) is an important aspect of
drinking water quality that can be beneficial or harmful,
aesthetically pleasing or a cause for rejection of the water.
Distilled water, desalinated water and rainwater have minimal salt content. Seawater and brines have tens of thousands
of parts per million (ppm) of salts, and typical drinking
waters can have hundreds to well over 1,000 ppm, mostly
less than 200 ppm concentration (ppm equals milligrams
per liter of water). The problems are: How much is too
much salinity? What are aesthetic issues? Are there any
potential health consequences, and can it be managed at a
reasonable cost?

What are the components of water salinity?

The basic chemistry definition of a salt is the reaction
product of an acid and a base. So, for example, sodium
hydroxide plus hydrochloric acid yields sodium chloride
plus water (NaOH + HCl NaCl + H2O).
Most salts encountered in drinking water are inorganic, but there are also organic salts; for example, methyl
amine plus acetic acid yields methylammonium acetate
(C2H3O2H + CH3NH2 CH3NH3+ C2H3O2-). There
are also mixed salts like sodium acetate.
Salts consist of paired anions and cations. The cation is
positively charged because it has lost an electron; the anion
is negatively charged because it has gained an electron. Some
are individual element/ions, e.g., chloride, Cl- or sodium,
Na+ ions; some are complex ions, e.g., ammonium ion,
NH4+; and some have multiple charges, e.g., sulfate, SO4-2.
The pairing is necessary so that the net charges are balanced.
Some salts are ionized in water and some are not or
partially ionized. Solid salts usually exist as crystals of several possible arrangements. Because water can be polarized,
salts in water solution are solvated, which means each ion
is surrounded by a number of water molecules that locally

neutralize the + and - charges. The oxygen ends of the water

molecules surround the positive ions, and the hydrogen
ends surround the negative ions; that is why many salts
are soluble in water, which is neutral but polarized, but
not soluble in nonpolar organic solvents like benzene. If a
salt is soluble in water, it means that the solvation energy
of the ions in solution is lower than the binding energy in
the solid crystal.

Seawater and brackish water

More than 97 percent of the water on Earth is salt water.
Over the millennia, salts on the land have been washed into the
sea or accumulated in aquifers by extraction from the geology.
The salinity of natural water ranges from rain at very low levels,
to less than 100 mg/l in many fresh waters, to approximately
35,000 ppm in oceans, to more than 50,000 ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS) in some confined and coastal seawaters,
e.g. Arabian Gulf. Typical seawater could contain about 19,000
mg/l chloride, 10,500 mg/l sodium, 2,600 mg/l sulfate, 1,250
mg/l magnesium, 400 mg/l calcium, 400 mg/l potassium, 150
mg/l bicarbonate and 80 mg/l bromide plus assorted lesser
ions. Brackish water of about 3,500 mg/l to 10,000 TDS could
contain at least about 900 mg/l chloride, 750 mg/l sodium,
1,000 mg/l sulfate, 90 mg/l magnesium, 250 mg/l calcium, 10
mg/l potassium, 380 mg/l bicarbonate and lesser ions.

Salinity standards
Some individual ions, like lead or borate, have sufficient toxicity, so they have health-based standards or guidelines for drinking water. Fortunately, most of the mass of salinity in water has
only aesthetic concerns, and there are recommended values such
as TDS or hardness (mostly calcium and magnesium, plus some
other cations like barium or strontium). Hardness is reported
as calcium carbonate and classified in ppm ranges: Soft water,
< 17; slightly hard, 17.1 to 60; moderately hard, 60 to 120;
hard, 120 to 180; and very hard, > 180 ppm.
www.WaterTechOnline.com 13


In the U.S., there are Secondary

Maximum Contaminant Levels (SMCLs)
that are actually federal guidelines for numerous ions based upon taste or other aesthetic
reasons. For example: TDS = 500 ppm; sulfate = 250 ppm; chloride = 250 ppm; copper
= 1.0 ppm; iron = 0.3 ppm; and manganese
= 0.05 ppm. The World Health Organization
(WHO) guidelines are similar.

Health issues
The human gut has regulatory mechanisms providing some screening of incoming ions and some selectivity of uptake.
For example: Concurrent calcium intake
depresses the uptake of lead ions, so drinking water (or milk) with calcium reduces
lead uptake in children; bromide uptake
is mitigated by chloride uptake. Water and
dairy are often more efficient sources of
mineral uptake, whereas there are dietary
components (phytates) that reduce mineral
uptake from vegetables.
Humans cannot tolerate excess salt
intake. We lose salts by perspiration and in
urine and feces. Consuming small quantities of clean seawater is not harmful, especially if the seawater is taken along with a
larger quantity of fresh water. However,
drinking seawater to maintain hydration is
counterproductive. The gut cannot absorb
water if the salt concentration is above
about two percent because more water
must be excreted to eliminate the excess
salt, causing net dehydration.
The human kidney regulates sodium
chloride in the blood within a narrow range
around 9 g/l (0.9 percent by weight), above
that is toxic and can lead to seizures and heart
arrhythmia. At that level there is equilibrium
between water entering and leaving red blood
cells; lower salt concentrations would cause
excess absorption by the cells and bursting;
higher concentrations would deplete water
in the red blood cells. Excessive sodium loss
can lead to hyponatremia, which can be fatal.
Mineral imbalances can also have significant
health consequences. The potential for kidney
stone formation is debated.
There are also indications of positive
benefits of minerals like calcium and mag14 Water Technology January 2015

Today, many of your customers drink mineral waters because of the taste or perceived health benefits.

nesium in drinking water. The calcium body

burden is about 1,200 grams, over 2.5 lbs.
Calcium is efficiently absorbed from water
and dairy at about 50 percent versus about
20 percent from nondairy foods, and that
contributes to the daily calcium requirement of about 1,000 mg/day for bone and
heart health. Magnesium, with a body burden of only about 25 grams, is also better
absorbed from water and has numerous
essential enzyme activity and heart health
functions. Low serum magnesium correlates
with metabolic syndrome that is a precursor
to some diabetes. In addition, there are various water epidemiology studies that associate
magnesium levels above about 10 mg/l with
reduced cardiac-related mortality. So, it is
possible that consumption of soft or softened
water for a lifetime may be less desirable than
consumption of harder waters, unless the
diet provides sufficient available magnesium,
especially from dairy.

Natural mineral waters

Many people consume mineral waters
either because of perceived health benefits
or desirable taste. Natural mineral waters
are defined by the Codex Alimentarius.
Maximum levels of certain potentially harmful minerals are usually similar to WHO
guideline values: Antimony, 0.005 mg/l;
arsenic, 0.01 mg/l; barium, 0.7 mg/l; borate,
5 mg/l; cadmium, 0.003 mg/l; chromium,
0.05 mg/l; copper, 1 mg/l; cyanide, 0.07
mg/l; fluoride, notify if > 1 mg/l; lead, 0.01

mg/l; manganese, 0.4 mg/l; mercury, 0.001

mg/l; nickel, 0.02 mg/l; nitrate, 50 mg/l;
nitrite, 0.1 mg/l; and selenium, 0.010 mg/l.

Taste considerations
Salts contribute tastes that are sometimes desirable and sometimes not, and
they affect palatability. Distilled and desalinated waters usually have a flat taste. Salts
are often added to improve palatability of
bottled water and to reduce corrosivity in
piped water. The U.S. SMCL for TDS is
500 mg/l. The WHO states that TDS at
up to 600 mg/l is generally considered to
have good palatability, and water becomes
significantly and increasingly unpalatable
as TDS exceeds 1,000 mg/l.
The California SMCLs are: TDS with
a recommended consumer acceptance contaminant level of 500 mg/l, upper of 1,000
mg/l and short-term of 1,500 mg/l; chlorides
recommended level is 250 mg/l, upper is 500
mg/l and short-term is 600 mg/l; and sulfate
has a recommended level of 250 mg/l, upper
of 500 mg/l and short-term of 600 mg/l.

Excess salinity problems

Excess salinity is undesirable and can cause
excessive scale formation in pipes, boilers and
appliances, as well as interfere with the performance of washers for clothes and leave residues on glassware. Economic impacts include
possible corrosion and reduction of the heattransfer efficiency of boilers, which can cause
premature failures of hot water heaters.


Water treatment
Salinity and TDS correlate with electrical conductivity, which is often used
for tracking the performance of desalination treatment processes. Calcium and
magnesium, and other divalent ions like
barium, strontium and radium, are readily
removed by conventional cation exchange
water softening. Anions like fluoride, arsenate and nitrate can be removed by anion
exchange treatment. Electrodialysis and
electrodialysis reversal systems are also used
in numerous commercial applications.
The universal treatment for salinity is
membrane treatment related to desalination.
Nanofiltration membranes are capable of
removing multivalent ions more efficiently
than monovalent ions, so they can be somewhat effective especially in non-seawaters.
Reverse osmosis achieves removal in the 98-99
percent range in thousands of high pressure
seawater desalination applications that can
operate at rates as high as multimillion gallons per day. A rough estimate for production
cost is about $4 per thousand gallons. Home
POU technologies can reduce the salinity of
domestic waters, but their water reject ratios
are high because they operate at low water line
pressure and with different membranes than
the large scale units.
Some treatment processes increase
salinity somewhat because of pH adjustments and some chemical treatment additives. Sewage has higher salinity than the
source drinking water because of discharges and also human inputs. Potable water
reuse projects often include a salts reduction stage, especially if the original drinking water has high salinity.

Salinity is a universal component of
water to a greater or lesser degree because
water is such a good solvent for ions. Fresh
waters make up a minute portion of the
Earths water most is saline. Humans can
tolerate limited amounts of salts in drinking water for reasons of health and palatability. Treatment technologies to produce
drinking water from saline water and wastewater are widely available and numbers of

applications are rapidly expanding. They

are technologys answer to the worlds need
for universal access to fresh and drinkable
water, for a price.
Dr. Cotruvo is president of Joseph Cotruvo and
Associates, LLC, Water, Environment and Public

Health Consultants. He is a former director of the U.S.

EPA Drinking Water Standards Division.

For more information on this topic, go to

www.WaterTechOnline.com and enter keyword(s):
Salinity, saline, desalination, brackish, drinking, sewage.

Joseph Cotruvo, Technical Editor

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www.WaterTechOnline.com 15


Hit the mark with

targeted marketing
Learn what customers want from their experiences.
By Rich DiPaolo, Editorial Director

hat keeps you up at night in regards to your

business? During visits with readers, this
is a question we, as trade magazine editors,
always ask. Popular answers, as you can expect,
include finding new customers, advertising services, customer service
and growing the business. Marketing affects most, if not all, of these
vital and common challenges.
And, to complicate matters, there are more ways than ever
before for a fee or gratis to let the world (or just your local
community) know that you are here to service all things water.
While todays marketing landscape might seem bound by no limits,
there are obstacles to overcome and updates your company might
Since the majority of customers, approximately 60 percent and
growing, visit the website before visiting the actual store, online is a
good place to start.

Mirabella continued by noting, Just as important as the live site

that potential customers see is the back-end software that controls
your site, reminds Mirabella. You want to be sure that your website
is built with a user-friendly administration panel that allows you to
easily update your website.
The large majority of U.S. adults (90 percent) currently own a
cell phone, according to PewResearch Internet Project. Their research
also found that 58 percent of U.S. adults have a smartphone and 42
percent own a tablet. How does this affect your marketing strategy?
Today, it is important to make sure your website and any other
digital communication you have with the customer is optimized
for mobile devices. Additionally, text and email communication in
regards to sales, alerts or celebrations and social media flash sales and
coupons are effective ways to reach customers and get referrals.

Building better sites

Even the staunchest supporters of online marketing cannot devalue the effectiveness of some traditional means of marketing, including
print, radio, direct mail, and phone calls to name a few.
Water treatment businesses, in fact all businesses, should not
put all of their marketing eggs in one basket, informs Robert
Kravitz, president of AlturaSolutions Communications, which is
a public relations, communications and content marketing firm.
I have a client now that has invested very heavily in a content
marketing program. Due to costs, they had to scale back on other
marketing programs. While the content marketing program has
proven beneficial because of the cutbacks in other marketing programs, their sales this year are up but not up as much as they had
hoped considering the costs.
As a result, Kravitz advises that businesses utilize a combination of
print as well as building up the content on a company website as one
of the best ways to help market products and services.

Whether you are looking to build a new website or redesign a

current site, there are certain functions and options to be aware of
while planning. First and foremost, it is important to keep customers
needs in mind. What would they want to have access to on your site?
Why would they visit your site? How does your site elevate the clients
relationship with your company?
The answers to those questions come down to how well you know
your current customer base. Assess the target market and also consider
your companys mission and its vision. Then, examine the technologies available to you.
Last year, in an article titled, Optimize your online presence,
we interviewed experts in the field of Web design and build. These
professionals provided some guidelines to help keep your site relevant
for its visitors.
Thomas Mirabella, president of Wingman Planning, a website
design and development firm, stated, When starting the planning
process for your website align your website with your marketing
strategy and target audience. Keep your customers needs in mind.
16 Water Technology January 2015

traditional methods

Seasonal marketing: Make it count

While formulating your marketing strategy be mindful of the

www.WaterTechOnline.com 17


calendar and send a well-timed message

around a holiday, day of recognition, customers birthdays or significant events and
In December, for example, Dale Filhaber
of DataMan Group noted the significance of

the holiday season for water treatment marketing. In her blog, Pure Water Profits, found
on www.WaterTechOnline.com, Filhaber
offers a cure to the common December
slowdown in cultivating new business. Her
remedy: Aggressive marketing.

Filhaber wrote, December is a great

month for business prospecting especially in
the B2B arena. On the homeowner side, this is
the time to make your message stand out and
your offer better than any other time of the
year. Yes, you may be generating fewer appointments in December, but make them count!
Filhaber writes a regular blog on our
website that is filled with helpful marketing, advertising and customer service tips
throughout the year. You can find her previous submissions at http://www.watertechonline.com/blogs.

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newer ways to one-up the competition.
The Internet has changed how most
consumers shop for water treatment products. How can dealers maximize their online
marketing strategy?
The best option, but not the only option,
is to develop a content marketing program,
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For more information on this topic, go to

www.WaterTechOnline.com and enter keyword(s):
Marketing, advertising, online, customers, business.

Rich DiPaolo, Editorial Director

By Joseph Cotruvo, Technical Editor


Benzene is a petroleum hydrocarbon
and also a natural product.
What it is:
Benzene is a hydrocarbon manufactured from petroleum and
also a natural product in some foods.
It is a six-member carbon ring with a hydrogen attached to each
Benzene is the base product among the family of BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) hydrocarbons produced in
very high volume. The other BTEX have a methyl group (CH3-),
ethyl (C2H5-) or two methyls attached to the benzene ring.
Its boiling point is 80.1o C (176.2o F), and water solubility
is about 2 grams per liter. Its molecular formula is C6H6, and
its molecular weight is 78.11 daltons. It is called an aromatic
hydrocarbon but that is more so a name of the family of chemical
structures, rather than an odor indication.
It is a VOC and lighter than water with a specific gravity of
about 0.9 g/ml.
The odor detection threshold is about 5 mg/m3.

Occurrence in water:
Most surface and groundwaters contain no detectable benzene.
Well water contaminated with gasoline from leaking underground storage tanks or a nearby hazardous waste site often contains some benzene.

As with most volatile solvents, benzene can cause drowsiness and
headaches at high inhalation levels.
Benzene is a known human carcinogen EPA Group A, based
upon occupational epidemiology.
Leukemias are the principal cancer concern.
EPAs lifetime risk calculation for inhalation is about one in
100,000 to one in one million for exposure at 1 g/m3.
EPAs calculated risk of one in one million for ingestion through
drinking water is between 10 and 100 ppb.
The other BTEX hydrocarbons have much less chronic risk
than benzene.

What benzene is used for:

It is a solvent and building block for many chemicals, including
BTEX, styrene, detergents and cumene that is converted to phenol
and acetone.
U.S. production is at least 12 billion lbs. per year.
The largest use is in gasoline as an octane enhancer, especially
since the elimination of lead. Gasoline contains about one or two
percent benzene and other aromatics.

Human exposure:
Exposure occurs from occupations, airborne inhalation, traces
in foods and alcoholic beverages and minimal amounts in some
drinking waters.
Outdoor airborne levels average about 1 ppb and contribute
around 7.5 g/day.
Indoor air is greater with contributions from secondhand cigarette smoke, gas cooking, wood burning stoves and fireplaces, as
well as releases from furnishings and attached garages, with levels
as high as 31 g/m3.
Cigarette smoking is the single, greatest human exposure source.
A cigarette smoker can inhale about 1.8 mg (1800 g) per day
directly from 32 cigarettes.
Drinking water is a negligible source for the vast majority of

Analytical methods:
Analyses are by purge and trap gas chromatography and related

Water treatment:
Granular activated carbon and aeration are available to water
treatment plants. Reverse osmosis is not effective because an
organic solvent, such as benzene, can dissolve in the membrane
and migrate to the treated water.
POU and POE using activated carbon are effective, however,
they must be replaced before exhaustion.

The drinking water Maximum Contaminant Level Goal
(MCLG) is zero, and the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)
is 5 ppb. Some states, including California and Florida, have
MCLs of 1 ppb. The World Health Organization (WHO)
drinking water guideline is 10 ppb. All of these are very conservative values.
Dr. Cotruvo is president of Joseph Cotruvo and Associates, LLC, Water,
Environment and Public Health Consultants. He is a former director of the U.S.
EPA Drinking Water Standards Division.

www.WaterTechOnline.com 19

International Activated Carbon
Conferences and courses
A few key highlights of some upcoming IACC technical presentations.
By Henry Nowicki and Barbara Sherman

Attending industry conferences and courses can help keep you up to date on the latest industry happenings and expand your professional network.

ACS and Activated Carbon Services Inc. will host the International
Activated Carbon Conferences (IACC-35 and -36) in Orlando,
Florida, Feb. 26-27, 2015, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sept. 17-18,
2015. Both events offer short courses in conjunction with each conference. You may take the courses without attending the conferences. You may also
add your marketing documents without attending.
Table 1, which can be found at http://www.watertechonline.com/ext/
resources/magazine-article-images/PDFs/Table_1.pdf, provides a preliminary
technical program for the conference taking place in Orlando in February 2015.
This carbon conference has three types of technical presentations: Oral, poster
and abstract only. It is never too late to participate. It is all-inclusive for carbon
users and manufacturers.
Table 2, which can be found at http://www.watertechonline.com/ext/
resources/magazine-article-images/PDFs/Table-2.pdf, provides short course
descriptions for three popular courses offered during conference week. Additional
course offerings are at www.pacslabs.com. These courses can also be provided at
the clients time and place.
20 Water Technology January 2015

Here we want to highlight three Orlando

technical presentations: Mike Jones, president of Atlas Carbon, will provide an update
on a new potential process to manufacture
activated carbons (ACs); Bill Purves, CEO
of Purves Environmental, will discuss the
EPA position on mercury emissions leaving
U.S. dental offices; and Henry Nowicki,
president of Activated Carbon Services, will
present a talk titled, GAED Advanced Test
Method Solves Activated Carbon Problems.

New method for

production of AC abstract
Atlas Carbon LLC (Atlas) is a new
AC manufacturer in Wyoming. Atlas has
licensed an AC production technology


from Diversified Industrial Minerals LLC

(Diversified) and is currently constructing its
first market scale facility in the heart of the
Powder River Basin coal region. Diversified
specializes in high temperature thermal treatment technologies for industrial minerals
processing. Diversifieds core technology is
Pneumatic Flash Calciner, or PFC, which is
a patented new approach to AC production.
The PFC utilizes a co-current flow reactor design unique to the industry to activate
carbonaceous feedstock at sizes generally
finer than 10 mesh. The material to be activated is fully suspended in a controllable
high temperature gas flow, ensuring uniform
gas-to-particulate contact. Due to the small
particle size and the effective gas contact
inherent to co-current flow design of the
PFC, activation is quickly accomplished.
Overall product retention time in the system is five to 30 seconds thus facilitating
high throughput rates and thereby reducing equipment size and cost. The PFC can
produce AC in a fast and tightly controlled
manner, utilizing a wide variety of carbonaceous feedstock.
In addition to virgin AC production,
the PFC can be utilized for spent powered
activated carbon (PAC) or granular activated carbon (GAC) carbon reactivation. AC
regeneration bears similarities to virgin AC
production. Reaction conditions must be
carefully controlled to properly restore spent
AC to near original adsorption capacity. The
short residence time characteristic of the PFC
is favorable for the removal of adsorbates and
restoration of the AC pore structure to near
original performance standards. The PFC
allows high rates of production with uniform
and adjustable process control conditions.
Significant cost savings versus virgin AC can
be realized with proper reactivation.
The PFC technology is faster and
requires less capital investment than some
other AC thermal technologies. Other methods can require hours of thermal process
retention time compared to seconds for the
PFC to achieve the same level of activation.
This enables the PFC technology to be
installed at a lower capital cost per annual
pound of AC production than some other

competing technologies. Operationally, the

PFC is a low-cost AC production method
and requires a small footprint, short warmup time and low maintenance costs.
Reaction kinetics play an important role
in porosity development during AC and/or
reactivation. Many traditional AC production methods rely on maintaining a large
inventory or beds of hot carbon throughout the furnace or kiln and therefore, the
bulk of the hot carbons external surface area
is in limited contact with the activation gases
during much of the carbons furnace retention time. Within a traditional rotary kiln
or multihearth furnace, the greatest degree
of activation occurs during the carbon beds
free fall, agitation or mixing with the hot
activating gases. The PFC design takes
advantage of that known solid-gas contact
characteristic value, and its total suspended
particulate flow regime allows for continuous rapid and uniform activation conditions
without maintaining any significant hot carbon inventory in the process. Such optimal
process control allows the PFC to generate
a tighter pore size distribution during virgin
carbon activation or to reactivate spent carbon under tighter parameters than various
traditional production methods.

Background GAED information

The Gravimetric Adsorption Energy
Distribution (GAED) test method has
solved refractory vapor, aqueous and solvent
AC problems. It has been applied to powder,
granular, pellet, fabric and composite forms
of AC and other materials.
GAED advanced instrumentation
applies the Polanyi physical adsorption
model.1 The Polanyi model connects vaporand aqueous-phase physical adsorption. This
enables the use of a GAED vapor-phase test
method for aqueous applications.
GAED samples are run as a received
form; a few grams are fully characterized for
its adsorption energy distribution and corresponding pore volume for physical adsorption capabilities in one day. All carbons are
not the same. They have heterogeneous
adsorption sites and the distribution varies
with the type of carbon.

GAED samples are dried to remove water

and determine dry apparent density with the
ASTM D-2854-96 oven test. The amount of
water is reported. This allows for GAED testing comparative dry basis and volume basis.

A summary of the GAED

test method is provided
The ASTM dry sample is placed into
the GAED sample compartment, which can
be heated to 240o C in argon and cooled to
-20o C. Once the sample (powder, granular,
pellet, fabric or composite material) is in the
GAED sample compartment, a temperature
program, which can be tailored to specific
samples, runs automatically. The sample is
heated from room temperature to 240o C
and held for 25 minutes to clean it. The
weight loss is reported. The cleaned sample
is challenged with 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane
(TFE) because only the high adsorption
energy sites are capable of adsorption of
TFE at a high temperature. Then the sample
temperature program is lowered to -20o
C to reveal the pore volumes for weaker
adsorption energy sites. After the adsorption
curve is obtained, the temperature program
is reversed to provide the desorption curve.
For well-prepared ACs, the adsorption and
desorption curves are the sample. Polanyi
calls this the Characteristic Curve, adsorption energy density (cal/cc) versus adsorption space or pore volume. GAED runs
cover seven orders of TFE concentration
and three orders of carbon loading capacity.
The Characteristic Curve can be fitted
to a polynomial equation to provide pore
volume (cc/100 g) at specific adsorption energies.2 These equations are used to provide
isotherms, which enable the calculation of the
amount of carbon needed for an application,
and determine the best carbon to be used.
GAED provides sorbent optimization
through computerized routines. This avoids
designers intuition and arrives at a true
and often non-intuitive result.
Further reading and examples of the
GAED test method can be found at www.
pacslabs.com. GAED details are covered in a
two-day course hosted by Nowicki, provided
three to four times each year.
www.WaterTechOnline.com 21


Some problems solved with GAED

PACS Laboratories has provided around
4,500 GAED sample runs. Some refractory
problems solved with GAED are:
GAED enables determination of isotherms for specific organic compounds
at a client-specified temperature on specific AC samples.
GAED can shed light on the position
of chemical impregnants added to AC. A
GAED comparison of the impregnated
and starting AC has provided this information. Location of impregnants can
make a big difference on performance.
GAED can best define the micropore
volumes of AC samples. These high
adsorption energy sites are needed for
physical adsorption of trihalomethanes
(THMs) disinfection byproducts and
other trace water soluble organics. Its
measure is called a trace capacity number (TCN) and is obtained during the

Interpretation of
acetoxime TCN test values
The best TCN numbers determined by
GAED are 14 to 18 mg/cc. Good numbers for well-made bituminous coal-based
products and ordinary coconut-based products range from 11 to 14 mg/cc. Ordinary
numbers for ordinary coal-based products,
subbituminous and well-made lignite products are 7 to 11 mg/cc. Ordinary lignite and
wood-based products are 4 to 7 mg/cc. For a
TCN less than 4 mg/cc, the carbons generally have a very low apparent density (less
than 0.30 g/cc).
Each reactivation of a spent carbon
reduces the TCN value. Carbons after
multiple reactivations can have half the
TCN of the virgin starting carbon that
was spent.
GAED can be used to define what
type of AC is best for an application
and to help define the feedstock (wood,
coconut shell or coal) in an unknown,
questioned AC.
GAED can define the change in pore
structure before and after thermal reactivations.
22 Water Technology January 2015

It can determine the pore volume loss

in AC after powdered carbon has been
made into pellets or carbon blocks.

Emerging mercury emission

problems at dental offices
A potential serious threat to the environment is mercury from dental amalgams. For
many wastewater treatment plants, mercury is
still an issue when meeting National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge limits. The national discharge limit
suggested by EPA is 12 ng/l. The limit established for the Great Lakes is 1.3 ng/l. Many
states have established limits lower than the
12 ng/l (5 ng/l in many), which causes
concern for treatment plants in those states.
A significant part of the problem today is
mercury being released by dental offices into
the municipal treatment plant influent. To
resolve the problem, EPA is proposing a rule
to require dental offices to place amalgam
separators in their offices to reduce the mercury discharge into the waste stream.
The amalgam separator (with the
exception of one) is nothing more than a
settling chamber where the mercury amalgam separates from the liquid stream by
simply precipitating to the bottom of the
chamber. This approach removes 95 percent or more of the amalgam (based upon
the ISO 11143 standard) in the waste
stream depending upon design. In all separator designs currently used, the amalgam
remains at the bottom of the separator
or in a chamber filled with water. It is
assumed all of the mercury remains in the
chamber and very little is discharged into
the environment to sewers. This assumption is incorrect.
The American Dental Association
(ADA) and most dentists claim the mercury
in the amalgam is permanently bonded and
is not a hazard. This assumption is incorrect. The mercury in the amalgam not only
slowly dissolves in water, but becomes a significant water hazard. The water discharging from an amalgam separator contains
three basic types of mercury: Organically
bound mercury in biologicals such as blood
and tissue, elemental mercury as suspended

molecules and dissolved mercury in ionic

form. The ADA and EPA are not aware of
this issue and assume the one to five percent
of the discharge into a waste stream is not
significant. This is a false assumption.
If one examines the remaining one percent being discharged into a waste stream, 90
percent may be removed by simple filtration.
That still leaves 0.1 percent of the waste
stream containing nonfilterable particulate
and dissolved and suspended mercury. This
represents 1 billion ng/l, and this quantity is
diluted by the water used in the dental office;
however, readings as high as 1.6 million ng/l
of dissolved mercury have been detected at
manholes in the street where dilution has
occurred. Dissolved mercury is a major hazard entering a wastewater treatment plant
and is the most difficult to remove from a
waste stream. Purves Environmental and
Mercury One LTD have analyzed the discharges from dental offices since 2003 and
found that the contribution of dissolved
mercury by dental offices to the wastewater
treatment plant in a small city is over 100
times greater than residential and industrial influent and is the major contributor
of dissolved mercury into the plant. Though
separators are considered the solution to the
problem, they may be contributors. Design
changes have to be made to adequately solve
this recognized problem.
Purves Environmental evaluated the discharges from many separators in use in dental
offices. All separators in the study were in use
for six or more months. The results of the
study found elemental and dissolved mercury
exiting the separators were in concentrations of
480,000 ng/l or more (up to 7.5 million ng/l).
Only one type of separator had consistent
quantities below that number: The M.A.R.S.
A bio-med unit regularly had concentrations at 65,000 ng/l or lower. When examining the operations of the separators, this was
the only unit that had true treatment for
dissolved and element mercury built into it.
The units contain sulfurized AC filtration
as a final step that effectively removed both
elemental and dissolved mercury. Comparing
the average discharge from a M.A.R.S system
to the average of all of the other separators

(M.A.R.S. 36,000 ng/l versus 484,000 ng/l),

the M.A.R.S. system demonstrates that particulate, dissolved and elemental mercury
removal can be achieved in one separator.
Though separators are welcomed as a means
to reduce particulate mercury from the environment, the designs must be changed to
include removal of dissolved and elemental
mercury. If such changes are not implemented, the burden on the wastewater treatment
plant will continue to increase and meeting
NPDES discharge limits for mercury will
become more difficult.
Much more information and training will be provided at the International
Activated Carbon Conference and courses
week, Feb. 23-28, 2015. See www.pacslabs.
com for details.

for Successful Groundwater Treatment

Peristaltic Metering Injectors

Precise output control to
20:1 turndown.
Adjustable 5 second
repeating time interval.
Output is not afected by
change in back pressure.
Outputs to 124 GPD.
Exclusive, patented Tube Failure
Detection System built-in!


Editors note: Due to space constraints, we

have published the Tables mentioned in this
article in full online.


Tube assembly design ensures
optimum performance.
Electronic control for accurate feed.
Tube design ensures proper
tube alignment.
Exclusive, patented Tube Failure
protection builit into every unit,
(U.S. Patent 7,001,153
and 7,284,964).

1. Polanyi, M. Verh. deut. physik.
Ges 16, 1012 (1914), 18, 55.
2. Greenbank, M. Hall of Fame
Lecture. Pittsburgh, PA 1999.
Henry Nowicki, Ph.D./M.B.A., is president and senior


scientist for Activated Carbon Services, which provides independent routine and advanced laboratory
testing, consulting, expert witness, R&D, new product
development and marketing and technical short training courses, as well as sponsors the International
Activated Carbon Conference and courses. Nowicki
is the conference chairperson. He has been awarded
SBIR awards as Principal Scientist on activated carbon (AC) projects. He may be contacted by phone at
(412) 334-0459 or email at Henry@pacslabs.com.


Easy to read six digit
LCD, up to four
decimal positions.
Tamper proof.
Battery operated (2 AAA
batteries included).
Three model variations:
Total reset function can
be disabled.

Barbara Sherman, MS, directs the conference regis-

For more information on this topic, go to

www.WaterTechOnline.com and enter keyword(s):
Carbon, AC, PACS, IACC, conference.

Henry Nowicki and Barbara Sherman



Display update time: Rate 1.5 sec., Total 0.5 sec.

Factory calibrated - nothing to program.
Custom calibration units available.
Contact the factory.
Weather resistant ABS
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tration and logistics. She may be reached by emailing

is t


5300 Business Drive, Huntington Beach, CA 92649 USA fax: 714-894-9492 sales@blue-white.com
714-893-8529 www.blue-white.com
Free Info: 211 or WaterTechOnline.com/freeinfo

www.WaterTechOnline.com 23

Water quality systems

and the toothbrush test
Direct marketing offers dealers
the best ways to reach
the right people at
the right time.
By Dale Filhaber

Photo Credit stuartmiles99/Essentials/iStock

oogles CEO, Larry Page, uses the toothbrush test whenever he is

faced with a decision about acquiring a new company. Simply put,
the toothbrush test answers this question: Is it something you will use
once or twice a day, and does it make your life better?
In the water quality industry, the toothbrush test makes a lot of sense. A
new reverse osmosis (RO) unit is definitely something homeowners will use
more than twice a day and yes, it will make their lives better.
But, how does a water dealership create that overarching value proposition
that makes people believe they cannot live without a water treatment system?
And, how do they brand their dealership as the one consumers must go to if
they want the best?
Direct marketing offers dealers the best ways to reach the right people
at the right time. Direct mail, telemarketing and email are all high-response
direct marketing techniques that give dealers the edge.
Direct mail is the only medium guaranteed to actually reach the people
you want to reach. It works year in and year out, and many dealers have
been mailing for years. Telemarketing is still a high-response lead generator
and email, while a very marginal stand-alone prospect medium, is becoming
a strong companion to direct mail and an excellent medium for CRM and
repeat business.
Since most dealers have been mailing successfully to new and longstanding homeowners for years, I want to concentrate this article on three thoughts
that might improve dealers direct marketing response even more: Acing the
24 Water Technology January 2015

toothbrush test, reach versus frequency and

direct mail to millennials.

Acing the toothbrush test

Many water systems pass the toothbrush test. You are not just selling a water
softener, you are selling a product that can
be used all day/every day and will help to
enhance peoples lives. In marketing, thats
the difference between leading with benefits versus features.
People will respond to your marketing
if they feel you are offering them a relevant
product that will make their lives better. Its
not about the features of your water system
its about how your system can make
your prospect feel.
While I am sure the type of salt, number of cylinders and maximum flow rate of
your system are compelling, these features
are not going to generate interest. Make
sure the benefits are prominent. Make sure
the copy has feeling.


Remember, you are not selling a water

system; you are selling health and wellness,
providing a safety net, making the world a
cleaner place, preventing waste, preparing
children for a brighter future and saving
consumers from wasting money. With a
water system, people will feel better, they
will look better and they will live in a better
Dealers may want to refine their homeowner lists and test mailing to homeowners
with children. In that case, I recommend
taking a second look at your mail piece and
make sure you are leading with the right
value proposition. Always remember the
benefits your water systems can provide:
The quality water children need for proper
hydration, healthy growth, shining hair,
cleaner clothes and a better future. Thats
much more compelling than grains of hardness removed.

Reach versus frequency

Reach is the number of people you
touch with your marketing message and
frequency is the number of times you
touch each person with that message.
While it would be nice to have an unlimited budget and reach a broad group
multiple times, dealers need to take a look
at the budget they have and decide if their
strategy is to go broad and mail to a larger
population once or narrow the prospect
group and mail and email to them multiple times.
Lets face it, marketing is building a business relationship with potential customers.
When was the last time you established a
relationship with someone you just met once?
A relationship grows based on contact over a
period of time. It needs to be nurtured.
In Permission Marketing, marketing
guru Seth Godin uses an analogy of seeds
and water to demonstrate the importance
of frequency in a marketing campaign.
If you were given 100 seeds with enough
water for each seed once would you plant
all 100 seeds and water each one once,
or would you be more successful if you
planted 25 seeds and used all of the water
on those 25 seeds?

When I look at marketing campaigns

across the entire home spectrum, I see businesses trying to grow all 100 seeds at once,
rather than targeting the best 25 seeds and
reaching out to them several times. When
we sacrifice frequency for reach, we lose the
chance for the relationship building that
comes with multiple contacts.
The fact is that response increases with
frequency. Multiple touches across different media increases branding and creates
name recognition and reputation. Savvy
marketers try to schedule their direct mail
drops and companion emails to hit during the same window. And, since we still
dont have unlimited budgets, the key is
narrowing down the prospect list to the
best possible group and reaching out to
them with relevant messaging and offers
multiple times.
Marketing is not an event, but a carefully planned, well thought out program that
takes into account your goals, your budget,
your resources and your brand. While we
love dealers who mail to new homeowners (and yes, new homeowners are the top
response group for water dealer year in and
year out), mailing to them just once is not
the answer. In fact, the dealers that mail to
them more than once are the ones who get
the higher ROI. A new homeowner may
not call you the first time they see your
dealerships name or even the second time;
however, once they get to know you, well,
you get my message multiple mailings/
multiple touches will increase response.
We already know response will increase
with frequency. Dealers should also consider
narrowing the broader homeowner prospect market to homeowners with children.
Targeting just families reduces the quantity
and dealers can mail to them more often and
stay within their budget.

75 percent of millennials find the

mail they receive to be valuable
92 percent are influenced by direct
mail to make purchase decisions as
opposed to 78 percent influenced by
When asked about whether or not
they would prefer to continue receiving promotional emails or receiving
the same promotional items but in the
mail, 70 percent said email or other digital delivery and a whopping 90 percent
said they would prefer postal delivery.
So, why did I think it was important to
mention millennials? Millennials represent
the largest demographic segment in the
country larger in number than the baby
boomers. They will be the next buyers of
water treatment products. They are environmentally aware and have been raised to
know using refillable water bottles is a good
thing. They want healthy options for themselves and their families. Even if something
is expensive, if they want it and you
make them a good enough offer they
will buy it.
The water industry needs to get ready
for this group. They will become a real
force in the marketplace as their numbers
grow in the housing market.
Dale DataDale Filhaber is president of Dataman
Group Direct, a Florida-based direct marketing company founded in 1981. DataDale is an author, lecturer and listologist. In the past 25-plus years, she
has trained many water quality dealers in direct
marketing and lead generation techniques, ranging
from direct mail to telemarketing to social media.
In the water industry, DataDale has published articles in various industry trade magazines, including
Water Technology, and is the author of Pure Water
Profits, a biweekly blog on marketing found at in
WaterTechOnline.com. She participated in Water
Technologys webinar titled, Perfecting the In-Home


Sale, and is also a frequent guest lecturer at the

If I had a nickel for every time a dealer

told me he or she doesnt want to mail to
the under 35 group because they only
respond to email, I would be a rich listologist. Look at these statistics (provided by

annual WQA Aquatech USA conference.

For more information on this topic, go to
www.WaterTechOnline.com and enter
keyword(s): Marketing, sales, direct mail,

Dale Filhaber

www.WaterTechOnline.com 25

Online Exclusive


Whats new in the Water Technology Community.

Online Exclusives
We update our website daily with news and
other online exclusive content. For 2015, we are
planning more podcasts, webcasts, blogs and additional ways to get you the information you need to
know about in multimedia formats.

Quick facts
WaterTechOnline.com averages 250,000 monthly page views with
over 38,000 monthly unique visitors
7,779 Twitter followers
275 LinkedIn connections.

The WaterTechOnline.com podcast series can be found at www.watertechonline.com/podcasts. Most recently, Assistant Editor
Maria Woodie interviewed Mitchell Mitch Kostich,
research biologist with EPAs Office of Research and
Development, and Jeff Szabo, environmental engineer
for the National Homeland Security Research Center
in EPAs Office of Research and Development. In part
one of this special two-part podcast with EPA, Kostich
offered insight into concentrations of pharmaceutical residues in wastewater and what these levels may mean concerning the quality and safety of
the wastewater effluent. In part two, Szabo disscused various types of bio
(biological) agents commonly found in water, as well as the risks they may
pose to the public.

Photo Credit Warchi/Signature/iStock


Cast your vote today. We feature a new poll
often on our site. Let us know what you think.
To take our current poll, visit: www.watertechonline.com/polls.
Municipal Insider
Winter Edition
In this edition,
we feature articles
on such topics as
Californias chromium-6 MCL, San Jose
Water Companys
search for a Spatial IT
solution and more.

Connect with your peers on our social media networks. Comment,
retweet, like or just follow along. Our social media strategy is simple: Link
and inform the water industry of news and trends.

Digital Edition
Subscribe to our
digital edition and gain
24/7 access to our current issue and electronic
issue archive. This digital
edition archive maintains
over five years of Water
Technology magazines.
The issues are complete
with easy-to-navigate
functions and click-through links to all issue advertisers, authors and
26 Water Technology January 2015

Top 14 for 2014

In Decembers e-newsletter, we focused on the
top news of the year. Visit www.watertechonline.
com/enewsletters for previous newsletters or to
sign up for free.
Pure Water Profits blog
Dale Filhaber of Dataman Group offers advice
to water treatment dealers looking to get ahead of
the competition in her biweekly blog.

Thank you to all
of our Twitter followers and for sharing our tweets. We
frequently profile a
follower in WaterTech
e-News Daily. In
December, we profiled a new follower:



Badger Meter


Net Irrigate

Consumer mobile app

Flow meter

Irrigation solution

Badger Meter updated its EyeOnWater consumer mobile app, available for customers of
water utilities that have implemented BEACON
Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA), giving consumers direct access to their water consumption
data and providing tools to help them manage their
water use. Extending beyond traditional monthly
statements, the EyeOnWater app and Web-based
portal offers utilities a platform to provide their
customers with proactive communications to help
promote changes in water consumption saving
money and precious resources.

The FPI-X Dual Sensor Electromagnetic

Flow Meter from McCrometer delivers accurate
and repeatable measurement under extreme
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and award-winning FPI Mag meter technology, it
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severe swirling flows. Designed for use in close
proximity to cascading or multiple pump arrays,
this meter delivers the advantage of accurate
measurement, making it impossible to create a
symmetrical velocity flow profile in the pipe.

PumpProxy from Net Irrigate enables irrigators to shut down a pivots respective well
pumps automatically, offering kill wire replacement and eliminating unnecessary pumping
time, saving millions of gallons of water each
year. Likewise, it is an ideal solution for flood
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through a mobile app and receive text, voice
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Circle 301

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Free Info: 213 or WaterTechOnline.com/freeinfo

www.WaterTechOnline.com 27

Educating customers the

right way when it comes to

Misinformation can ruin a dealers reputation and potentially its bottom line.
By Rich DiPaolo, Editorial Director

itrates are often found in drinking water sources, especially in smaller public water supplies and private water wells. EPA has established
the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for nitrate, measured as
nitrogen (N), at 10 mg/l, to help monitor at a level considered safe
for consumption (nitrite, measured as N, has an MCL of 1 mg/l).
Although nitrates and nitrites may still contaminate consumers drinking
water supplies after they have been municipally treated, domestic wells are at
a higher risk of contamination as they are not federally regulated to monitor
nitrate levels. Water dealers must educate their customers the right way and
adequately understand certification criteria and system performance.
High levels of nitrate contamination can lead to such health concerns as
blue baby syndrome, or infant methemoglobiemia. However, the greatest
risks to infants from nitrate exposure occur when both microbial contaminants and nitrate are present in water.
Pionetics Corporation Vice President H. Martin Jessen explains that
methemoglobin impairs the delivery of oxygen in the blood to tissues in the
body and can cause headaches, dizziness, irritability and blue tones to the
skin in adults.
28 Water Technology January 2015

Where is nitrate most prevalent?

Nitrates and nitrites are most often
found in groundwater. Nitrate, which
comes from nitrogen, can pass through the
soil and potentially contaminate groundwater. Additionally, as notes Jessen, airborne nitrogen compounds given off by
industry and automobiles are deposited
on the land in precipitation and dry particles. Nitrate can be present in groundwater for decades and accumulate to high
levels as more nitrogen is applied to the
land surface every year, he says.
A national map, found at http://water.
no10/est_v36_no10.html, shows the likelihood of nitrate contamination of shallow
groundwater. Mapped probabilities reflect


regional patterns of nitrate sources and

aquifer-susceptibility characteristics. High
probabilities are most extensive in the High
Plains, which can have high nitrate fertilizer
loading and well-drained soils overlying
unconsolidated, coarse-grained deposits.
The areas yielding the highest
probability of contamination are in the
Midwest, Texas, the Pacific Northwest
and California. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has estimated that
across the nation as many as 52 percent
of community water wells and 57 percent
of domestic water wells are contaminated
by a measureable amount of nitrates and
nitrites. In some of Californias fastest
growing regions, such as Los Angeles and
the San Joaquin Valley, one in every three
domestic wells has nitrate contamination
in levels that far exceed public health limits, says Jessen, adding that this has led to
strict standards requiring municipal water
systems to be responsive to the need for
increased testing and treatment.
Research shows that the majority of
high nitrate levels are in rural areas affecting smaller communities and individual
well owners. According to Jessen, this
trend should be no surprise given that the
number one source of nitrate contamination has been agricultural activity.
These smaller communities often lack
the financial resources to plan, build and
operate a centralized nitrate reduction
facility, asserts Jessen. They often rely
on federal and state grants for financial
assistance but even securing funding from
these sources is beyond their reach. And,
of course, individual well owners have to
take on the full burden of solving their
own problem.

Available water
treatment solutions
Various point-of-use (POU) and
point-of-entry (POE) technologies are
available that can treat nitrate contamination. Jessen names a few, including
disposable ion exchange cartridges, reverse
osmosis (RO) systems and electrochemical
de-ionizers. There are many RO systems

and cartridges on the certified product

list. To date only one electrochemical deionization technology has been certified.
Organizations such as the WQA and NSF
certify these products.
While RO has been a popular treatment option in the industry for many
years, Jessen advises dealers to fully understand how the technology works when it
comes to treating nitrates. The problem
for the water treatment industry is that
the widely used RO technology is unable
to reliably reduce nitrates to the MCL if
the feedwater contains more than 50 ppm

Photo Credit MentalArt/Essentials/iStock

Water dealers must urge customers to frequently
test their water for contaminants like nitrate.

nitrate concentration, he says, noting

that other treatment technologies, such as
ion exchange and electrochemical de-ionization, are more effective at nitrate reduction at all concentration levels because you
are able to increase cartridge size or contact time. It is also possible to increase the
effectiveness of an RO to reduce nitrates
by adding an ion exchange polisher to
the unit.
The bottom line: The most effective
technology for reducing nitrates from water
depends on the nitrate concentration.
However, dealers must know the technologies abilities and limitations or be at risk.

Challenges in certification
According to Jessen, there is a level
of miscommunication when it comes to
understanding how the different technologies and products are certified as compared to how they perform in real-world
applications. In fact, he believes the issue
is so significant that dealers may be liable
in a potential lawsuit for misinforming
customers regarding health contaminant
reduction applications.
Certification testing is done under the
NSF/ANSI certification protocol that calls
for the challenge water to include nitrate
levels of 30 parts per million (ppm). The
different systems are evaluated and the
results reported as percent reduction, he
explains. This means if the nitrate contamination level is 100 ppm and the product is certified for 80 percent reduction
the product water will not meet the 10
ppm MCL required to be in compliance.
Several prominent organizations, such
as WQA, continues Jessen, promote POE
and POU as an immediate solution to
provide nitrate reduction for these small
communities and well owners. The certification testing protocol does not provide
an accurate picture of which products
will be effective at these higher levels.
This results in misinformation to consumers and government regulators who are
responsible for compliance to the MCL.
While reducing nitrates does offer
a significant opportunity, dealers must
make sure the technology they are installing is capable of reducing higher concentrations below the MCL without fail. As
Jessen concludes, This market is a public
health market and requires absolute reliability, notification of consumers when
maintenance is needed and must also generally meet the reasonable test in terms
of water waste quantity and proper
disposal, solid waste management, energy
consumption, etc.
For more information on this topic, go to
www.WaterTechOnline.com and enter
keyword(s): Nitrates, nitrites, drinking,
disinfection, POU, POE.

Rich DiPaolo, Editorial Director

www.WaterTechOnline.com 29

Providing clean
water to the
developing world
Household water treatment
offers the best hope for
nearly 900 million people.
By Michael D. Robeson

any Americans take clean drinking water for granted. However,

much of the developing world is still grappling with the challenges
of supplying water that is safe for human consumption. The problem affects nearly 900 million people around the globe and leads to
2.2 million deaths by waterborne diseases annually. More than half of the victims
are under the age of six.
While the danger in urban areas stems from aging or inadequate water
treatment infrastructure, the risk is most acute in rural communities lacking the
density or the resources to build and support water treatment facilities.
Many rural residents still fetch water from rivers, lakes, ponds and streams
contaminated with human and animal waste, whether from open defecation
or factors such as seepage from septic tanks and pit latrines. Even people with
access to cleaner water from common wells, collected rainwater or centralized
taps face the risk of pollution by an unsanitary container or improper storage
in the home.
For these reasons, groups such as UNICEF and the World Health
Organization (WHO) have long recognized that the most practical immediate
strategy for improving rural drinking water quality is to provide solutions for
treating and safely storing water at the household level.
The upshot has been the development of a variety of household water treat-

30 Water Technology January 2015

ment and safe storage (HWTS) technologies

designed to improve water quality at the
point-of-use (POU), as well as the publication of WHO specifications for evaluating
the microbiological performance of different HWTS systems in 2011. This WHO
document was the first to establish target
performance levels for bacteria, virus and
protozoa in POU water treatment, providing a benchmark for measuring the relative
effectiveness of each technology option.

From chlorination to filtration

One common POU solution involves
chlorination essentially the same treatment used to disinfect public water supplies
in the early 1900s. The most widely adopted model in this scenario was developed
by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and the Pan American


Health Organization in response to a 1990s

cholera epidemic in South America. Under
this model, diluted sodium hypochlorite is
manufactured locally, bottled and added to
water by the capful for disinfection. Users
agitate the water and wait 30 minutes
before drinking.
Benefits of this approach include low
cost per treatment and proven reduction
of most bacteria and viruses. Drawbacks
include relatively low protection against
parasites such as Cryptosporidium, potentially objectionable taste and odor, lower
effectiveness in turbid waters and the need
for a reliable supply chain as well as the
financial resources to continually replenish
the chlorine-bleach solution.
An alternative household water treatment
is solar disinfection. Initiated by the Swiss
Federal Institute for Environmental Science
and Technology in 1991, this strategy requires
users to fill plastic soda bottles with lowturbidity water, shake them for oxygenation
and place them on a roof or rack for six hours
in sunny weather or two days in cloudy conditions. Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun
works in conjunction with increased temperature to improve water quality.
The pros include ease of use, virtually no
cost and effective pathogen reduction. The
cons include the need to pretreat even slightly
turbid water, long treatment times especially in cloudy weather, the need for a large
supply of clean bottles and the limited volume of water that can be treated at one time.
Most other POU options involve some
form of filtration designed to remove pathogens by passing water through porous stones
and a variety of other natural materials.

Multiple filter varieties

Clay-based ceramic filters, for example,
remove bacteria through micropores in the
clay and other materials such as sawdust or
wheat flour that are added to improve porosity. The best-known design in this category is
a flower pot-shaped device by the nonprofit
organization Potters for Peace that holds
eight to 10 liters of water and sits inside a
20- to 30-liter plastic or ceramic receptacle,
which stores the filtered water. Some ceramic

Waterborne bacteria, viruses and protozoa pollute

water supplies for millions of people in developing

filters are also coated with colloidal silver

to ensure complete bacteria removal and
prevent growth of the bacteria within the
filter itself.
Slow sand filters, on the other hand,
remove pathogens and suspended solids
through layers of sand and gravel. One common household biosand filter consists of a
concrete container incorporating layers of
large gravel, small gravel and clean mediumgrade sand. Prior to use, users fill the filter
with water every day for two to three weeks
until a bioactive layer resembling dirt grows
on the surface of the sand. Microorganisms
in the bioactive layer consume disease-causing viruses, bacteria and parasites, while the
sand traps organic matter and particles.
As with chlorination and solar disinfection, both varieties have virtues as well
as limitations. Ceramic filters are effective
against bacteria and protozoa but not as effective against viruses, are breakable, typically
last only two years, require as often as weekly
cleaning and have a flow rate of only one to
three liters of water per hour. Slow sand filters
have a flow rate of 30 liters of water per hour
enough to suit a familys needs but
again, lack adequate virus reduction abilities,
are costly, difficult to transport at 170 lbs.

and require periodic agitation and regrowth

of the biolayer that can reduce filter efficiency
if done improperly.
Both ceramic and slow sand filters also
lack residual protection for filtered water,
such as that provided by chlorine, raising the
risk of recontamination unless a disinfectant
is added after treatment.
A third option is a hybrid of the ceramic
and sand designs. This approach utilizes
porous ceramic particles blended with silver,
zinc and copper, and deploys them in a
layered configuration similar to slow sand
filtration solutions. The filter is delivered
in a barrel-shaped device with a strainer
that filters out large debris, a ceramic/metal
layer that neutralizes harmful microorganisms through an ion exchange process made
possible by the unique properties of the clay
itself and a built-in storage chamber for up
to 18 liters of clean water.
Advantages consist of validated effectiveness in bacteria, protozoa and virus disinfection including industry-first compliance with WHOs new household water
treatment specifications, ion-based residual
disinfection that keeps filtered water safe,
minimal maintenance and a 10-year lifespan
with no added costs for post-filtering chemical treatment or filtration media replacement, keeping costs low over the life of the
filter. Downsides include a higher initial cost
compared to other products and difficulty in
outsourcing fabrication to developing world
factories because the unique filtration materials are not locally available.

Implementation challenges
While household water treatment technologies for developing countries are not
new, adoption still falls woefully short of
need. According to the CDC, over two
million people in 28 developing countries
now use solar disinfection for daily drinking water treatment; however, that pales
in comparison to the 900 million people
who lack access to safe drinking water.
Likewise, Potters for Peace has distributed
over 200,000 ceramic filters in Cambodia
and many more in other countries, but this
only scratches the surface of a public health
www.WaterTechOnline.com 31


problem killing the equivalent of the entire

population of Houston every year.
One stumbling block is the need to
work through disparate non-retail channels
to reach communities in need. Partnerships
must be created with different nongovernmental agencies (NGOs) and multiple
local organizations in each country. Finding
willing partners is difficult, as is developing sustainable financial models for projects
requiring donor funding and subsidies.
Therefore, distribution strategies vary
widely. In the case of chlorination, implementations range from a faith-based group
in northern Haiti making and bottling
its own hypochlorite solution to a largescale program, in which NGO Population
Services International both promotes and
distributes its own product on a country-bycountry basis through local channels such
as community health workers and private

pharmacies. In the case of ceramic filters,

Potters for Peace helps local communities
set up filter-making factories that in turn sell
their products to NGOs. Each solution and
supplier must forge its own path.
Equally challenging is the need to select
the most appropriate treatment method
for a communitys specific circumstances.
Variables such as existing water and sanitation conditions, water quality, cultural
acceptability, implementation feasibility and
availability of a supply chain for refills or
replacement parts will affect the decision. In
addition, any implementation must include
an education component to teach the use of
each technology as well as proper sanitation,
food and water handling.
Nevertheless, household water treatment
holds the potential to save millions of lives.
Until universal access to piped treated water
is available, if ever, these decentralized tech-

4,500 children die every day due

to water borne illnesses.
One child every 20 seconds.

nologies and the small-scale humanitarian

models required to deploy them are the best
hope for reducing the disease and death toll
related to dirty water. Creative solutions,
entrepreneurship and new business models will be needed to remove distribution
obstacles, provide government funding or
microfinancing and bring relief to millions
of people who put their lives in danger simply by taking a drink.
Michael D. Robeson, Ph.D., P.E., is general manager of ProCleanse LLC, a provider of household
water filtration systems for developing countries.
The company is based in suburban Chicago. www.
For more information on this topic, go
to www.WaterTechOnline.com and
enter keyword(s): WHO, drinking, filter,
ceramic, UV, health.

Michael D. Robeson

Taking a chance on an unaudited media buy

could lead
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Advertising in
Water Technology
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Water Technology is one of three magazines in the water
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Make the smart choice.

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32 Water Technology January 2015


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Circle number


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202.............Aries Filterworks..............................................................................................................................1 ............................................................................................................. www.ariesfilterworks.com

211.............Blue-White Industries....................................................................................................................23 ..................................................................................................................... www.blue-white.com

204.............Canature WaterGroup ...................................................................................................................5 .............................................................................................................www.hydrotechwater.com

203.............H2O Filter Warehouse.....................................................................................................................3 ...................................................................................................... www.h2ofilterwarehouse.com

201.............Judo Water Treatment Inc. ..................................................................................................Back Cover ............................................................................................................ www.judo-online.com

213.............Pionetics Corp. ...............................................................................................................................27 ........................................................................................................................www.linxwater.com

215.............Resintech ...........................................................................................................................Inside Back Cover......................................................................................................... www.resintech.com

209.............Safeway Water, LLC. .....................................................................................................................15 ...............................................................................................................www.safewaywater.com

206.............Triple O Systems Inc. .....................................................................................................................8 ............................................................................................................................. www.tripleO.com

205.............UV Dynamics, Inc. ...........................................................................................................................8 ....................................................................................................................www.uvdynamics.com

210.............UV Superstore .................................................................................................................................18 .................................................................................................................www.uvsuperstore.com

208.............Water Quality Association ............................................................................................................11 .................................................................................................................................. www.wqa.org

216.............Watts Water Technologies, Inc. ....................................................................................Inside Front Cover................................................................................................................ www.watts.com

www.WaterTechOnline.com 33


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34 Water Technology January 2015

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www.watertechonline.com 35


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36 Water Technology January 2015

With over 25 years of experience in the water industry
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