WaterBriefs: EU legislation to have domino effect on markets for ferrous sulfate

Also in this report: ITT Industries creates Award for Excellence in Student Water Journalism; World Chlorine Council highlights public health value of chlorine; Mine discharge permit renewal in Fayette County, Pa., ruled unlawful; Atlanta kicks off Stockade sewer separation project; Latin America plastic pipe market forecast to reach $2.7B by 2009; San Antonio scraps plans to buy water from Alcoa...

other news below, see:
-- ITT Industries creates Award for Excellence in Student Water Journalism
-- World Chlorine Council highlights public health value of chlorine
-- Mine discharge permit renewal in Fayette County, Pa., ruled unlawful
-- Atlanta kicks off Stockade sewer separation project
-- Latin America plastic pipe market forecast to reach $2.7B by 2009
-- San Antonio scraps plans to buy water from Alcoa

New legislation to have domino effect on application markets for ferrous sulfate
LONDON, Aug. 22, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- A new EU Directive (2003/53/EC), effective from Jan. 17, 2005, makes it mandatory on participants in the cement value chain to control levels of toxic chromium (VI). This directive is set to trigger heightened demand from the cement industry for the reduction of agents such as ferrous sulfate (FeSO4) and tin sulfate (SnSO4) that can reduce the toxic chromium (VI) to its non-toxic chromium (III) form. At the same time, this directive is likely to spark changes in a variety of related end-user markets.

Following the new directive, cement producers have to ensure that reducing agents are added as early as possible in the production process and limit the levels of soluble chromium (VI) in cement to below 2 ppm (parts per million). Moreover, they have to declare a storage period or shelf life for their products.

With the main responsibility for adhering to these guidelines resting with cement producers, they are likely to face a host of new challenges. "The consequent investments into restructuring the production processes, developmental work to find the appropriate reducing agent, as well as the regular purchasing of reducing agent will add significantly to the internal costs of producers," comments Frost & Sullivan's Research Analyst Evelyn Turmes.

"However, in a market characterized by fierce competitive pressure, price increases in cement are difficult to justify."

In this context, cost minimization will emerge as a key strategic response. With the directive excluding cement in controlled closed and totally automated processes, producers can, with greater experience, reduce the percent of cement treated, and thus minimize the amount of reducing agent needed.

Cost minimization is also likely to be achieved through sourcing a cheaper reducing agent such as moist copperas or ferrous sulfate instead of the more expensive, dried ferrous sulfate. R&D into novel production processes can help cement producers avoid the presence of chromium (VI) altogether, thereby circumventing the need for reducing agents.

Estimated to have generated about 4.3% of FeSO4 revenues in 2004, cement applications are poised to contribute a far more substantial 61.9% in 2005, following enactment of the EU directive and will finally account for 69.8% of FeSO4 revenues in 2011.

Boosted by the new directive, overall revenues of the FeSO4 market are set to rise sharply from 51.8 million euros in 2004 to 137 million euros in 2005 and record steady growth thereafter.

Large volume demand for FeSO4 from the cement industry will impact end users in other application markets such as water treatment, pigments, agriculture, steel and TiO2.

For instance, the entire structure of the water treatment market for coagulants and flocculants will change as a direct consequence of the directive. Price increases linked to availability issues are likely to make users of inorganic coagulants switch to alternatives with a better price/performance ratio.

Meeting this increased demand for alternative coagulants is crucial for suppliers of inorganic coagulants. Furthermore, manufacturers of inorganic coagulants who have been using FeSO4 as a raw material are also likely to suffer from higher prices and need to find a way of avoiding this price increase.

As ferrous sulfate is generated as a by-product by the TiO2and steel industries, the critical challenge for them is to find ways to augment quantities of ferrous sulfate to meet the enhanced demand without necessarily having to increase the TiO2production.

Furthermore, the very attractive conditions in the cement industry are likely to increase the threat of new competitors penetrating with their own FeSO4 by-product. "TiO2producers who are not currently active in marketing their own FeSO4 by-product need to recognise this new opportunity for selling it into a market generating good revenues and invest in setting up their own marketing division to penetrate the highly lucrative market application for FeSO4 in cement," advises Turmes.

A research overview that provides manufacturers, end-users and other industry participants with a synopsis of the latest analysis -- "Strategic Impact Assessment of the EU Directive on Chromium Levels in Cement (B527-39)" -- is available from Frsot & Sullivan's London office.

Frost & Sullivan (www.frost.com), a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community, by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics.

ITT Industries creates Award for Excellence in Student Water Journalism
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 22, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Waterborne diseases resulting from a lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation kill more children each year than any other illness in the world. By 2030, when today's 10-year-old will be working and raising a family, experts estimate that three billion people will live in areas of severe water shortage. In an effort to raise awareness of these issues and others related to water, and to encourage further exploration of solutions to these problems, ITT Industries today announced it has established the ITT Award for Excellence in Student Water Journalism, an international program to recognize aspiring journalists.

By encouraging future journalists to report on water and the environment, ITT aims to move these issues to the top of agendas communities around the world. The national awards will recognize high school students for outstanding reporting -- either print or broadcast media -- on a water-related environmental issue. The inaugural awards will be given in summer 2006 to students winning national contests in the United States and Sweden.

"Water is an essential element for life and our most precious resource, yet around the globe industrialized nations are squandering vast amounts while developing countries struggle to find access to a reliable supply of clean water," said ITT CEO Steven Loranger during a press conference here today. "By creating and supporting the ITT Award for Excellence in Student Water Journalism we hope to encourage young people -- our future leaders -- to address these issues by raising the public's awareness of them."

The U.S. award will be administered in partnership with the Quill and Scroll Society. The Quill and Scroll Society is an international organization founded in 1926 by a group of high school advisers for the purpose of encouraging and recognizing individual student achievement in journalism and scholastic publication. The Quill and Scroll Society has granted charters to more than 14,104 high schools in all 50 states and in 44 other countries. In Sweden, the award will be administered in conjunction with Ung Media Sverige, a non-profit organization which aims to connect young journalists in the region and encourage the continued study of journalism. Further details about participating in the awards program will be distributed through these partner organizations.

Winning students from each country will be given a cash prize plus an expense-paid trip for the student and a faculty advisor to attend and report from the 2006 Stockholm Water Symposium, which takes place as part of the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Symposium is a world-renowned gathering of international leading water experts from academia, government and industry who meet to develop effective and long-term global waterresources management solutions, and is the venue for the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize, of which ITT Industries has been a global sponsor for nine years. This prize is the most prestigious international competition to recognize students for excellence in water science research. In 2005, national winners from 30 countries will compete for the international prize, which is also awarded during the Stockholm Water Symposium.

ITT Industries, Inc. (www.itt.com) supplies advanced technology products and services in key markets including: fluid and water management including water treatment; defense communication, opto-electronics, information technology and services; electronic interconnects and switches; and other specialty products. Based in White Plains, N.Y., the company generated $6.8 billion in 2004 sales.

World Chlorine Council highlights public health value of chlorine
ARLINGTON, VA, Aug. 22, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Can economic growth, sustainable development, improved public health and reduced poverty levels of underprivileged communities all come from a glass of clean drinking water? According to the annual gathering of the global water community at this week's World Water Week events in Stockholm, Sweden (Aug. 21-26), that glass of water is where the health and advancement of impoverished communities around the globe must begin. With nearly one person in five globally lacking access to safe drinking water, healthy water practices and products are fundamental to the preservation, protection and improvement of both individual and community well-being.

According to C. T. "Kip" Howlett, Jr., Secretariat of the World Chlorine Council (WCC) the products of chlorine, whether in the form of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping for community water transport or as a household water disinfectant, offer disadvantaged populations around the world an opportunity for a healthier future.

"The presence of waterborne disease is an unmistakable sign of a community in distress," says Howlett. "The results of this daily public health disaster -- poverty, disease, malnutrition, environmental deterioration and high infant mortality -- can be drastically reduced through simple and direct interventions of chlorine-based products."

Under the banner of "Safe Water Delivered Safely," WCC supports humanitarian efforts to save and improve lives around the world through development and investment in international clean water projects and global relief efforts. These efforts include the following:

* Tsunami Relief Efforts: In the wake of the tsunami that hit South Asia in December 2004, WHO advised that ensuring access to safe water was critical to preventing outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Within days, WCC member associations, Euro Chlor and the Chlorine Chemistry Council, coordinated an industry response, raising over $150,000 to aid water and sanitation efforts being carried out by the American Red Cross.

* Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage: WCC is a partner of the International Network to Promote Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage, organized by the World Health Organization. Through this network, WCC supports the widespread adoption of simple, low-cost technologies that can dramatically improve the quality of water used in individual homes, and help reduce the global burden of waterborne disease. For example, in communities where safe water supplies are not available, specially packaged chlorine bleach used to disinfect household water has been shown to reduce diarrhea cases 25-50%.

* West Africa Water Initiative (WAWI): WCC actively supports the West Africa Water Initiative (WAWI), a multi-partner alliance working in some of the most arid regions of western Africa. WAWI projects are focused on providing sustainable water supplies, reducing disease, and improving water management in Ghana, Mali, and Niger. Unveiled at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, WAWI is a leading example of the "partnership" model for achieving the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals. WCC will provide PVC pipe and other materials that will be used by World Vision, UNICEF and other WAWI partners to construct bore wells and sanitary latrines.

For more information on World Water Week, please go to www.worldwaterweek.org.

Created in 1993, the World Chlorine Council (www.worldchlorine.com) is a global network of national and regional trade associations and their member companies representing the chlorine and chlorinated products industries. The WCC coordinates international efforts to improve understanding and awareness of the benefits of chlorine chemistry; furthers the practice and understanding of responsible stewardship; and anticipates and responds to relevant health, environmental and public policy issues.

Mine discharge permit renewal in Fayette County, Pa., ruled unlawful
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 22, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- The Mountain Watershed Association (MWA) and Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) announced today that the Environmental Hearing Board has sustained their appeal challenging the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) renewal of a wastewater discharge permit for the Potato Ridge clay mine in Fayette County operated by Kaiser Refractories. The Board's June 23, 2005 ruling revoked the permit renewal and sent the permit back to DEP for further consideration. DEP's payment of the appellants' attorney's fees and costs in accordance with an agreement reached last week will resolve the only issue remaining before the Board.

The appeal is the first action brought by MWA's Yough Riverkeeper project, which is part of the international Waterkeeper Alliance (www.waterkeeper.org). Yough Riverkeeper Beverly Braverman, who is also the Executive Director of MWA, emphasized that nearly every sample of the treated mine drainage taken during the preceding five-year term of the permit violated the permit's maximum concentration limits for manganese.

"The law flatly prohibits DEP from renewing a permit where violations of the permit are continuing," said Braverman. "The Board ruled that DEP acted unlawfully by renewing the permit without doing anything about the ongoing violations."

The Board also ruled, as DEP conceded, that the renewal of the permit was inconsistent with a pollution cleanup plan for the receiving stream, Laurel Run, prepared by DEP and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2003. That cleanup plan, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), establishes the maximum amounts of specific pollutants that may be discharged into Laurel Run.

PennFuture Senior Attorney Kurt Weist explained, "The TMDL for Laurel Run assumed that the Potato Ridge Mine would discharge no aluminum into Laurel Run, so the renewed permit should have prohibited the discharge of aluminum. Instead, DEP placed no limit at all on the amount of aluminum Kaiser Refractories could discharge." Weist further explained that as a result of deficiencies highlighted by the appeal, DEP is in the process of amending the TMDL for Laurel Run.

The Board left one issue unresolved. PennFuture and MWA argued that renewal of the permit was barred because the $223,000 reclamation bond posted by Kaiser Refractories is insufficient to guarantee future treatment of the mine discharges. Although recognizing that DEP "does not dispute that the amount of the bond is inadequate," the Board ruled that because DEP "has not yet concluded its review as to what a proper bond amount should be," it could not decide the issue now and sent the question back to DEP to complete its analysis.

One possible solution to the ongoing discharge violations would involve building a new treatment system to handle the Potato Ridge Mine discharges as well as several discharges from the adjacent Smith Mine in Ohiopyle State Park. Kaiser Refractories has taken the lead in designing this combined system and advocating for its development with DEP and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which supervises and maintains the State Park. Laurel Run is a tributary of Meadow Run, a trout fishery in Ohiopyle State Park that is frequented by anglers, swimmers, kayakers, and hikers. Both streams are designated as "High Quality" waters.

Kaiser Refractories is part of a family of companies owned by Kaiser Aluminum Corporation and Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation, which are seeking to reorganize under federal bankruptcy laws.

For more information, see: www.pennfuture.org.

Atlanta kicks off Stockade sewer separation project
ATLANTA, Aug., 2005 -- Fulton County Commissioner Rob Hunter joined Atlanta City Council members Natalyn Archibong (District 5) and Carla Smith (District 1) to formally kick off the Stockade sewer separation project with a community celebration on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Southside High School baseball field on Glenwood Avenue.

The separation of sewers in the Stockade sub-basin will help eliminate the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) into streams and rivers that occur during heavy rains. The sewer separation program is part of the CSO Remediation Program that will help the city meet the obligations of the federal consent decrees. The project will be completed under the city's "One-Pass" program, in which water and sewer line work is done simultaneously, minimizing the disruption of neighborhoods. Water lines, hydrants and valves also will be replaced during the sewer separation project.

"Once again, we are asking for residents' patience as we start this important work." Hunter said. "We know there will be traffic disruptions and other inconveniences, but the construction will result in clean, safe water for Atlantans and our downstream neighbors."

The Stockade sub-basin runs south from Edgewood Avenue to Lester Avenue (across Interstate-20). Streets bordering the basin include Boulevard to the east and Moreland Place to the west. Neighborhoods in the Stockade sub-basin include Tapestry, Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown.

Maps of the affected areas are available on the Clean Water Atlanta website, www.cleanwateratlanta.org. For more information, please contact the Clean Water Atlanta hotline, 404-529-9211.

Latin America plastic pipe market forecast to reach $2.7B by 2009
LIMA, Peru, & TOKYO, Japan, Aug. 22, 2005 -- Sagasu Concepts, an independent business services consultancy, today released an extensive market forecast of the consumption of plastic pipes in Latin America.

Consumption Quantity to Reach Over 1 Billion Feet By 2009: The Latin American plastic pipe deployment data, in terms of the volume or quantity of linear feet, is forecasted to grow at an average annual growth rate of 6.8 percent from 0.728 billion feet in 2004 to 1.013 billion feet in 2009. In 2004, the consumption was lead by Mexico, followed by Brazil and then Argentina. It is important to note, however, that the volume in Valenzuela is forecasted to increase substantially, over three times by year 2014.

Outer Diameter 6 to 24-Inch Pipe Leads Consumption Value: The Latin American plastic pipe deployment, in terms of the value (US$), is projected to reach $2.7 billion in 2009. In terms of nominal-sized [outer diameter (O.D.)] plastic pipe measurement, consumption value was lead by 6 to 24-inch plastic pipe, with over 40 percent in 2004. "Smaller diameter pipe, with a nominal-size O.D. of less than (<) 2-inches, leads in volume (Quantity) consumption," said Stephen Montgomery, the president of Sagasu Concepts. "However, because of the relative low average selling price/per foot (ASP), the smaller pipe sizes trail in terms of consumption value," Montgomery said.

Sagasu Concepts (www.sagasuconcepts.com) specializes in forecasting trends in selected business and consumer products. This includes technology forecasting, markets and applications forecasting, strategic planning and consulting. Sagasu Concepts, as a technology-based independent forecasting firm, serves industrial companies, trade associations, government agencies, consumer-related companies and the financial community.

San Antonio scraps plans to buy water from Alcoa
BASTROP, TX, Aug. 22, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- One of the longest running controversies in Texas water history ended Aug. 16 when the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) board of trustees voted to abandon plans to purchase large volumes of groundwater from Alcoa, thus scrapping plans to build an expensive 120-mile pipeline to transport the groundwater from the Simsboro aquifer to San Antonio, the Aqua Water Supply Corp. reported.

Opponents of the SAWS-Alcoa Simsboro Project have long maintained that it did not make hydrologic or economic sense. From the beginning, the project faced intense organized opposition from residents of Bastrop and Lee Counties. Local residents criticized the project because it would have damaged a crucial recharge region of the Simsboro aquifer and put their future water supply at risk.

The Simsboro Project was put into motion in December 1998. Under their contract, Alcoa, which operates a lignite mine in Lee County, would have pumped up to 90,000 acre-feet of groundwater each year for export to San Antonio. Over time, sustained pumping of large volumes of water would have dewatered the recharge area near the well fields. The Simboro Aquifer is a major water supply for residents in the area.

Aqua Water Supply Corporation, a nonprofit co-op that supplies drinking water to approximately 16,000 rural households in Bastrop and neighboring counties, stepped forward to address the issue. Aqua general manager John E. Burke joined county officials, city councils, and many local residents in pressing the Texas Legislature in its 1999 session to pass Senate Bill 1911, which created a temporary groundwater district. The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District's mandate from area residents was to protect the groundwater for residents of Bastrop and Lee Counties. In 1999, Burke was one of ten local residents appointed to the board. In 2001, local residents succeeded in getting legislation passed to make the district permanent. In the confirmation election of November 2001, the district won overwhelming support, with over 70 percent voter support confirming the district. Following the election, Burke left his position as president of the district board but remained active on the issue.

Aqua officials commended the SAWS board on its decision to discontinue the Simsboro project and CEO David Chardavoyne for his leadership.

"The citizens of Bastrop and Lee Counties persevered and stayed the course to the end. It took a great deal of hard work by many people over seven years to achieve this result," said Burke.

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In earlier newsbriefs, see:
-- "WaterBriefs: USFilter aids Minn. city seeking wastewater treatment options" -- Also in this report (Aug. 19, 2005): FDA, USDA approve compound for salmonella reduction in poultry processing; Aqua America unit adds another water system in Luzerne County, Pa.; Thermodynetics unit nails down $3 million boiler tubing order; Former Dallas utilities director joins MWH as client service manager; ENSR International names new Asian regional sales director...

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