WaterBriefs: Santa Clarita bans saltwater pools in battle to protect river from chlorides

Nov. 10, 2005
Also in this report: AquaCell to spin-off Aquacell Water unit; Pennvest approves $28M for water projects; Calgon Carbon launches new UV product; Versar awarded $1.5M stormwater contract by Frederick County, Md.; Compass Minerals International explores sale of UK evaporated salt plant; England's bathing water quality better than ever before; Ecuador leaders in Chevron lawsuit say lives in danger; Equipment & Systems Engineering installs 137 water sanitation systems in Nicaragua...

In other news below:
-- AquaCell files for proposed spin-off of its Aquacell Water subsidiary
-- Pennvest approves $28M for water projects
-- Calgon Carbon announces launch of new UV product
-- Biorem to provide $1M biofilter for new composting facility in Canada's Peel Region
-- Altair Nanotechnologies wins $2.5M in Congressional funding for nanoscience research
-- Versar awarded new $1.5M stormwater contract by Frederick County, Md.
-- Magazine names ista North America 'Best Energy Management/Submetering Company'
-- Compass Minerals International explores sale of UK evaporated salt plant
-- England's bathing water quality better than ever before
-- Ecuador leaders in Chevron lawsuit say their lives are in danger
-- Equipment & Systems Engineering installs 137 water sanitation systems in Nicaragua
-- CAWST, Petro-Canada recognized for 'Water for Life' partnership
-- UK salt merger cleared

Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District adopts ordinance banning saltwater pools

Officials continue to combat chloride discharge to protect Santa Clara River

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov. 9, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- On Nov. 9, the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District board adopted an ordinance making it illegal for both new and existing saltwater pools to be connected to the sewer system. When saltwater pools are drained they contribute to higher salinity levels in the Santa Clara River. This ban on saltwater pools is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States and may serve as a model for communities struggling with related chloride issues.

When saltwater pools are drained or when their filters are backwashed, they put a salty waste into the sewer system. The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District's wastewater treatment plants provide extensive treatment and produce water that meets drinking water standards, but do not remove salt. The state's Regional Water Quality Control Board has established a limit on the treatment plants' level of chloride (salt) and current chloride discharge levels are above that limit.

Swimming pools contribute about 125 pounds of salt per day, or about half of a percent of the chloride now entering the sewer system. If there is widespread conversion to saltwater pools, it could increase up to nine fold. If salt levels discharged into the river do not decrease, the Sanitation District may have to install new treatment equipment, possibly more than quadrupling Valley residents' annual sewer bills to $500 per household.

"Over the past few years we've worked diligently with Santa Clarita Valley residents to reduce chloride levels in the Santa Clara River and cannot risk a reversal of this trend with the addition of saltwater pool systems," said Jim Stahl, Chief Engineer and General Manager for the Sanitation District. "This ordinance, combined with the ordinance prohibiting installation of automatic water softeners and with outreach asking community members to voluntarily unplug their automatic water softeners, provide the community with tangible actions they can take to protect the river."

Violation of the ordinance will carry a penalty of 30 days imprisonment and/or a $1000 fine - the same penalties as the ordinance banning installation of automatic water softeners. In March 2003, it became illegal to install automatic softeners in the Santa Clarita Valley. Through a response to public education efforts, the fraction of households in the Santa Clarita Valley operating automatic water softeners has dropped from one in seven in 2003 to one in eleven in 2005.

The Sanitation District serves the wastewater management and solid waste needs of the Santa Clarita Valley. The role of the Sanitation District is to construct, operate, and maintain a regional system to collect, treat, and dispose of wastewater and to provide for management of solid wastes. The Directors of the Sanitation District are the mayor and a designated City Council member of Santa Clarita and the Chairperson of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

For more information on automatic water softeners and salt, please see the Sanitation Districts' web site at www.lacsd.org/chloride.


Among other recent headlines:
AquaCell files for proposed spin-off of Aquacell Water subsidiary -- RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA, Nov. 9, 2005 -- AquaCell Technologies Inc. has filed a Form 10 Registration Statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on behalf of its Aquacell Water Inc. subsidiary, to allow it to become a publicly traded company. AquaCell Technologies has two operating subsidiaries, Aquacell Water, which markets and manufactures various water filtration and purification products for municipal, industrial and commercial use, and AquaCell Media, which sells advertising on its patented self-filling water coolers installed in retail locations...

Pennvest approves $28 million for water projects -- HARRISBURG, PA, Nov. 9, 2005 -- Fourteen more Pennsylvania communities will be getting cleaner drinking water and more efficient wastewater and storm water systems with Pennvest's approval today of $25 million worth of low-interest loans and almost $3 million in grants. The financial packages range from $62,500 to upgrade a 70-year-old, antiquated, water system in Somerset County to $6.5 million to rehab a water system in Schuylkill County, where the drinking water is discolored and contaminated by both iron and manganese...
In other state news:
-- DEP fines Onyx Landfill $50,000 for problems with leachate collection system
-- EPA cites developers for Clean Water Act violations at construction sites in SE Pa.
-- Pennvest, Pa. DEP receive national award
-- Pa. Master Well Owner Network receives national award

Calgon Carbon announces launch of new UV product -- PITTSBURGH, Nov. 9, 2005 -- Calgon Carbon Corp.has launched its new C3500™ UV wastewater disinfection system. The system is the latest addition to the C3Series™ UV wastewater disinfection product line. Using powerful yet energy-efficient 500-Watt lamps, the new system is designed for high-flow municipal wastewater applications as well as challenging combined sewer overflow (CSO), sanitary sewer overflow (SSO), and reuse applications...

CVF Technologies' Biorem to provide $1 million biofilter for new composting facility in the Peel Region -- WILLIAMSVILLE, NY, Nov. 9, 2005 -- CVF Technologies Corp.'s holding Biorem is pleased to announce that a new municipal organic composting facility under construction for Peel Region, Ontario, Canada will include a biofilter from Biorem for odor control. A contract was awarded to the general contractor by Peel Region, which includes the installation of the Biofiltair™ system. The $1 million biofilter installation will provide complete odor control to protect the environment and preserve the air quality in the surrounding community...

Congress to fund $2.5 million in energy, water development appropriations for Altair Nanotechnologies' nanoscience research -- RENO, NV, Nov. 9, 2005 -- Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. has been designated to receive an additional $2.5 million in federal grant funding during 2006-07 for the continued development of nanotechnology, nanosensors, and nanomaterials research, development and deployment. The funding was included in the Congressional Energy and Water Development Appropriation for Fiscal Year 2006, which was passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Nov. 8...

Versar awarded new $1.5 million stormwater contract by Frederick County, Md. -- SPRINGFIELD, VA, Nov. 9, 2005 -- Versar Inc. announced the award of a new $1.5 million, three-year contract by Frederick County, Md. This award is to support the county's compliance with its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. The contract has an annual capacity of $500,000 for up to three years. Versar will continue to support Frederick County's Division of Public Works in ensuring the county's stormwater and watershed management programs meet NPDES requirements. Under the new contract, Versar will provide an array of services, including modeling, monitoring and public outreach programs as the county moves to implement restoration measures in key watersheds...

Magazine names ista North America 'Best Energy Management/Submetering Company' -- It wins Apartment Finance Today Reader's Choice Award for third year in a row -- SAN DIEGO, Nov. 9, 2005 -- ista North America, a global provider in multi-family billing expense management, was named Best Energy Management/Submetering Company by readers of Apartment Finance Today magazine. The Reader's Choice Award is announced in the magazine's November/December 2005 issue...

Compass Minerals International explores sale of UK evaporated salt plant -- OVERLAND PARK, KS, Nov. 9, 2005 -- Compass Minerals International Inc. announced that its British subsidiary, Salt Union Ltd., has entered into discussions to sell its evaporated salt plant in Cheshire, England, to chemicals and technology manufacturer INEOS Enterprises. The plant, with an annual capacity of 850,000 tons, serves consumer, agricultural and chemical customers in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. The plant's nearly 100 employees would transfer to INEOS upon conclusion of the deal subject to customary approvals...

England's bathing water quality better than ever before -- LONDON, Nov. 9, 2005 -- A record number of English beaches have passed the toughest test of the quality of their bathing water, Environment Minister Elliot Morley announced today in a release from the Department for The Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (Defra) posted to the Government News Network. Results for 2005 show that 305 out of 414 of bathing areas -- 73.7% -- achieved the European Union's tightest bathing water standards. And a record 98.8% of designated bathing waters around England now meet minimum requirements. Only five sites failed to meet these basic standards. There has been a massive improvement in English bathing waters over recent years. In the early 1990s less than a third of England's beaches reached the toughest standards...

Ecuador leaders in Chevron lawsuit say their lives are in danger -- Legal petition filed by CEJIL and Amazon Watch seeks protection -- WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 9, 2005 -- Four Ecuadorian leaders of a $6 billion environmental lawsuit against Chevron say their lives are in danger following a series of threats and a break-in, according to a legal petition just filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS). The petition contends that the four individuals -- all high-profile leaders of the first class-action lawsuit to force a U.S. oil company to stand trial in Latin America on environmental charges -- need immediate security protection. The petition filed by Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and Amazon Watch asks the Commission to order the Ecuadorian government to provide the protection, utilizing a mechanism of international law under the Charter that created the OAS in 1948...

Equipment & Systems Engineering installs 137 Aquachlor water sanitation systems in Nicaragua -- MIAMI, Nov. 8, 2005 -- Equipment and Systems Engineering Inc., a leading manufacturer and global supplier of on-site sodium hypochlorite generation systems for water sanitation, is in its final phase of installing 137 of the company's Aquachlor water sanitation systems in various municipalities of Nicaragua. The announcement follows the recently completed sale of these units to Nicaragua's Emergency Social Investment Fund (Fondo de Inversion Social de Emergencia or FISE) in collaboration with the country's Ministry of Health...

CAWST, Petro-Canada recognized for 'Water for Life' partnership -- Program helps improve water and sanitation for the world's poor -- TORONTO, Canada, Nov. 8, 2005 -- Imagine Canada today will recognize the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) and Petro-Canada for their Water for Life program - an initiative aimed at providing improved water to the poor of developing countries. The partners will receive an honorable mention at Imagine Canada's New Spirit of Community Partnership Awards in Toronto tonight...

UK salt merger cleared -- LONDON, Nov. 8, 2005 -- The Competition Commission (CC) has formally cleared the completed acquisition by British Salt Ltd of New Cheshire Salt Works Ltd (NCSW). In its final report published today, the CC has concluded that the merger would not lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the market for pure dried vacuum (PDV) salt and compacted salt in Great Britain or the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The CC has reached a finding different to that in the provisional findings report, published in September, after receiving new evidence which led it to expect that NCSW would have closed in the foreseeable future as a result, in particular, of recent steep increases in actual and projected energy prices. PDV salt has a wide range of uses, notably in the food industry, whereas compacted salt is primarily used for water softening...


In earlier newsbriefs, see: "WaterBriefs: Aqua America closes on four acquisitions in three states" -- Also in this report (Nov. 8, 2005): Walter Industries names CFO of water products business; FuelCell Energy partner commissions Europe's first WWTP to operate on sewage gas; Watts Water Technologies acquires two companies; Calgon Carbon's Pearl River Plant resumes operation; GreenFuel Technologies honored for energy competitiveness; Mexico governor funds environmental contract to SSWM subsidiary; Pure H20 Bio-Technologies files patent application for Crypto disinfectant; Amiad Filtration Systems announces intention to float; Rocky Mountain Brands bottled water growth continues; Zenon's position further strengthened by court ruling; USFilter defeats all infringement claims at trial court; Wall Street Journal honors ObjectVideo with technology award; Nature Conservancy, Army Corps of Engineers partner for NE waterways; Phoenix, Army Corps of Engineers commended for Rio Salado habitat restoration; Connecticut Water secures management contract for UConn water systems; Weston awarded Army Corps of Engineers remedial action contract; Pa. investing in future with $65 million in environmental grants; PetroChina adopts environmental, crisis management software from ESS; IEVM to deploy EcaFlo equipment in Hurricane Katrina cleanup; Builders League demands NJDEP make plans for long-term water supply; Cytec completes expansion for mining chemicals product line...


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