WaterBriefs: Underground Solutions names former USFilter execs to lead company

Nov. 22, 2005
Also in this report: Koch files Georgia Pacific merger submission with EU; VSEP completes trials for phosphate ore wastewater treatment; Calif. DWR to unveil 'Delta Vision' at ACWA event; EU grants Aqua Dyne water purification technology patent; Sentinel Solutions allies with Team Aquatic; Ultra Choice Water launches e-commerce site; Ofwat to strengthen sewer flooding compensation; Aqua Penn. files rate request; Calif. firm wins three Chinese industrial pollution contracts worth $18M...

In other news below:
-- Koch Industries files Georgia Pacific merger submission with the EU
-- VSEP completes trials for treatment of acidic wastewater from phosphate ore processing
-- Calif. DWR's Snow to roll out state's 'Delta Vision' at ACWA Conference
-- European patent allowed for Aqua Dyne water purification technology
-- Sentinel Solutions forms alliance with Team Aquatic
-- Ultra Choice Water launches e-commerce website
-- Ofwat consults on plans to strengthen compensation for sewer-flooded customers
-- Regalito secures surface rights, additional water rights for Chilean copper project
-- Callaway Nuclear Plant sets world record for steam generator replacement
-- PittCon to host 'Bridging the Sciences' symposium
-- Aqua Pennsylvania files rate request
-- MEEG wins three Chinese industrial pollution contracts totaling almost $18 million
-- Opti-Con controller receives top innovation award

Underground Solutions announces new management team
-- Names former USFilter CEO to lead company
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 21, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Underground Solutions Inc. announced that the company has entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a group of executives led by Andy Seidel, the former CEO of USFilter Corp., one of the nation's leading providers of water and wastewater products, systems and services. Subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions set forth in the MOU, Seidel will become president and CEO of UGSI and a member of its board of directors. He will be joined at UGSI by two other former senior executives of USFilter: Roop Jain, who will become executive vice president and COO, and Steve Stanczak, who will be appointed as executive vice president and general counsel. Mark Smith, UGSI's current president and CEO, will assume the role of chairman.

Under the terms of the MOU, the new management team has agreed to enter into employment agreements and assume their management responsibilities following receipt of the preferred shareholder's approval required to authorize certain of the transactions contemplated by the MOU. UGSI currently intends to seek those approvals during December, 2005. Among the transactions for which approval will be sought, will be the sale to the new management team and a group of existing and new investors of up to $3.0 million of a new series of convertible preferred stock at a maximum price of $0.08 per share. The shares of the new series of convertible preferred stock will be convertible into common stock on a 1:1 basis. If the transactions are approved, the new management team will enter into binding three-year employment agreements and the corporate headquarters will, subject to approval by the UGSI Board, be relocated to southern California. A regional operations center will be maintained in the Pittsburgh area.

In addition to his past position as CEO of USFilter, Seidel is a former director of USFilter, Aqua America (formerly known as Philadelphia Suburban), and National Waterworks (a leading water infrastructure distribution company) now owned by Home Depot. Seidel also served on the management board of Veolia S.A., the French-based water and wastewater company. He and the other executives left USFilter earlier this year following its August 2004 acquisition by Siemens A.G., of Germany.

Jain is the founder and former vice president/general manager of USFilter/RJE -- a leader in the municipal process equipment industry.

Stanczak is the former executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of USFilter. He was previously the vice president of legal affairs and corporate secretary for London-based Waste Management International plc, a global provider of solid and hazardous waste management services.

Mark Smith stated, "As the founder of Underground Solutions, I am delighted to have been able to recruit such a strong management team. Andy, Steve and Roop were key members of the team that built and managed USFilter, the largest water and wastewater company in North America, growing USFilter from $17 million to over $6 billion in sales in only eight years. They have extensive experience in the relevant municipal markets and have unparalleled experience in driving enterprises to achieve strong, profitable growth."

Seidel added, "We strongly believe that our team's extensive years of experience in the water and wastewater industry (products, projects, distribution and channel management), coupled with UGSI's superior patented Duraliner™ and Fusible PVC™ technologies, will enable Underground Solutions to assume a leading position in the rapidly growing water infrastructure industry. We are excited to have the opportunity to join UGSI at this critical stage of its development."

Underground Solutions Inc. (www.undergroundsolutions.com) is an infrastructure technology and pipeline rehabilitation company. The company has developed and continues to develop unique and proprietary technologies focused exclusively on the underground infrastructure industry. UGSI's products developed and successfully introduced into the market to date include Duraliner, Fusible C-900™, Fusible C-905™ and Fusible PVC.

Fusible C-900, Fusible C-905 and Fusible PVC are NSF-61 certified and cover a full range of piping diameters from 3" to 48" to provide the only available method of installing a continuous, monolithic, gasket-free PVC pipe or conduit capable of being used in numerous trenchless (no-dig) or conventional "open-cut" applications. Applications for this revolutionary technology cover every aspect of piping installations including both pressure and non-pressure situations in the water, sewer, electrical, industrial and telecommunications industries.

Duraliner is a unique patented process which allows the Company to rehabilitate deteriorated water lines and other pressure pipes with minimal excavation. It is the only pipeline renewal system resulting in a "stand alone" structural lining capable of handling internal minimum operating pressures of 150 psi. And it conforms to NSF 61 Standards for Drinking Water Components/Health Effects and has a design life exceeding 100 years.

Koch Industries files Georgia Pacific merger submission with the EU
WICHITA, KS, Nov. 21, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Koch Industries Inc., parent company of Koch Membrane Systems, announced that on Friday it filed the necessary merger submission with the European Commission under the EC merger control rules set forth in Council Regulation (EC) No. 139/2004.

Koch Industries filed the merger submission on behalf of Koch Forest Products, Inc., its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, in connection with the previously announced tender offer by Koch Forest Products for all outstanding shares of Georgia-Pacific Corporation at a price of $48 net per share in cash.

The total value of the deal is estimated at $13.2 billion. It would make Koch Industries the largest private employer in the United States, passing Cargill Inc. for that honor. For additional details on the acquisition, click here..

Unless the European Commission requests additional information or that commitments be made, or elects to extend its review to a phase-II investigation, it has 25 working days to complete its review. Accordingly, the standard phase-I review period by the European Commission will expire on Dec. 23.

With headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of tissue, packaging, paper, building products and related chemicals. With 2004 annual sales of approximately $20 billion, the company employs 55,000 people at more than 300 locations in North America and Europe. Its familiar consumer tissue brands include Quilted Northern(R), Angel Soft(R), Brawny(R), Sparkle(R), Soft 'n Gentle(R), Mardi Gras(R), Vanity Fair(R) and Lotus(R), as well as the Dixie(R) brand of disposable cups, plates and cutlery. Georgia-Pacific's building products manufacturing business has long been among the nation's leading supplier of building products to lumber and building materials dealers and large do-it-yourself warehouse retailers. For more information, visit www.gp.com.

Koch Industries Inc., based in Wichita, Kan. (www.kochind.com), owns a diverse group of companies engaged in trading, operations and investments worldwide, including a presence in 50 countries in such core industries as trading, petroleum, chemicals, energy, fibers, fertilizers, pulp and paper, ranching, securities and finance.

With headquarters in Wilmington, Mass., Koch Membrane Systems (www.kochmembrane.com) is a member of Koch Chemical Technology Group LLC, a unit of Koch Industries.

In other company news:
-- "Keep America Beautiful awards Koch Industries Inc. its 2005 Vision for America Award: National nonprofit recognizes company's environmental stewardship"
-- Koch's John Zink Co. LLC Technology selected for NOx-reduction project
-- Koch Partners LP to build diesel hydrotreater, crude oil distillation unit for Wynnewood Refining Co.


Among other recent headlines:
Preliminary trials completed using VSEP membrane filtration for treatment of acidic wastewater from phosphate ore processing -- EMERYVILLE, CA, Nov. 21, 2005 -- The Florida Institute for Phosphate Research (FIPR) awarded a research grant to New Logic Research Inc., of Emeryville, Calif., to study the use of its reverse osmosis membranes for treatment of acidic process water stored in large ponds known as phosphogypsum stacks. The pilot trials were recently completed at an active phosphate plant in Bartow, Fla., and the results prove the patented VSEP Vibrating Membrane Filtration System efficiently filters the wastewater, producing filtrate suitable for surface water discharge...

ACWA Conference to highlight statewide needs, regional plans; DWR Dir. Snow to roll out state's 'Delta Vision' -- SACRAMENTO, Nov. 21, 2005 -- The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) annual Fall Conference and Exhibition, set for November 29 - December 2, will feature diverse and dynamic speakers, panelists and other experts from around the water community and will held at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego. The theme for the event is Water: Statewide Needs, Regional Plans -- Who Leads? Who Pays? The event also serves to mark ACWA's 95th birthday...


European patent allowed for Aqua Dyne water purification technology -- SYDNEY, Australia, Nov. 21, 2005 -- European patent application has been granted for the JetWater purification technology developed by Australian-based water reuse specialists Aqua Dyne Inc. This follows the recent granting of U.S. patent protection and as a result provides the company with increased protection as well as opportunities in major world markets. In addition, ongoing research and development programs have further added to Aqua Dyne's unique technology with two new patent-pending registrations, maintaining Aqua Dyne as a leader of thermal desalination...

Sentinel Solutions forms alliance with Team Aquatic -- TORONTO, Canada, Nov. 21, 2005 -- Sentinel Solutions Inc., a company producing products for monitoring the safety and toxicity of public water has announced a strategic alliance with Team Aquatics. Dean de Jong, president of Team Aquatics, operates communal water/waste water systems throughout Ontario, Canada. It has been successfully serving clients for more than 13 years...

Ultra Choice Water launches e-commerce website -- RALEIGH, NC, Nov. 21, 2005 -- Ultra Choice Water Inc. (UCW), a HydroFlo Inc. portfolio company, announced the launch of a new ecommerce website (www.ultrachoicewater.com). The new site will offer customers the opportunity to purchase the complete product line provided by UCW beginning with the countertop, undersink, and pre-filter filtration units...

Ofwat consults on plans to strengthen compensation for sewer-flooded customers -- LONDON, Nov. 21, 2005 -- Plans to strengthen protection for customers who suffer sewer flooding in England and Wales are set out in a consultation paper published by Ofwat, the United Kingdom's Office of Water reported in a release posted to the Government News Network. The proposals would improve the Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS) by extending it to: 1) Require sewerage companies to pay a minimum of GBP 150 for every internal sewer flooding incident; and 2) Include external flooding incidents, for which payment levels would be 50% of a customer's annual sewerage charge for each incident. The proposals also set out guidelines based on current industry best practice for providing practical and financial help to sewer-flooded customers...

Regalito secures surface rights, additional water rights for Chilean copper project -- VANCOUVER, BC, Canada, Nov. 21, 2005 -- Regalito Copper Corp. has acquired an additional 200 liters per second of water rights for its Regalito copper leach project in Chile adding to the 239.5 liters per second of water rights previously announced. The acquisition also includes an option to acquire an additional 52 liters per second and associated rights of way. The water rights will be acquired for regular cash payments over a two year period. In addition, the company has purchased majority ownership of approximately 36,000 hectares of surface rights that overlie the Regalito deposit, the planned sites for leach pads and processing infrastructure, and access to the property. The surface rights will be acquired for US$2.7 million payable over a three year period...

Callaway Nuclear Plant returns to service following refueling, maintenance: Sets world record for steam generator replacement -- FULTON, MO, Nov. 21, 2005 -- AmerenUE's Callaway Nuclear Plant, located near Fulton, Mo., has returned to service after shutting down Sept. 17 for refueling, maintenance and major equipment upgrades. The plant began generating electricity again at 1:31 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19.The outage duration of 63 days and 13 hours set a new world record for the shortest time it took to conduct an outage that included replacement of four steam generators -- the giant "boilers" that produce steam for generating electricity. The previous record was 64 days and 17 hours, set by the South Texas Project in October 2002...

PittCon to host 'Bridging the Sciences' symposium -- Coalition seeks federal funding for advancing research for the enabling sciences -- PITTSBURGH, PA, Nov. 21, 2005 -- Pittcon -- the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy -- will host a special symposium, "Funding U.S. Research: Challenges and Opportunities," arranged by the Coalition for Bridging the Sciences, at Pittcon 2006, March 11-17, in Orlando, Fla. The coalition represents more than 250,000 university and industry scientists from 16 research societies seeking federal support for research at the interface between the biomedical sciences and the physical and computational sciences. The symposium will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, March 16, at 8:30 a.m., and will include speakers from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Engineering, as well as academia, industry, and government...

Aqua Pennsylvania files rate request; Cost for water would remain a penny per gallon -- BRYN MAWR, PA, Nov. 18, 2005 -- Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. filed an application with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today requesting a $5.44 a month (18 cents a day) increase in rates for a typical residential customer. Although the request -- which would bring a typical monthly residential bill to $43.30 -- asks that the new rates become effective Jan. 18, 2006, the PUC typically suspends such requests for up to nine months (Aug. 18, 2006) to permit a complete investigation and analysis...

Gov. Schwarzenegger announces deals that help China address industrial pollution, create Calif. jobs: State's McWong Environmental and Energy Group wins three contracts totaling almost $18 million -- SHANGHAI, China, Nov. 16, 2005 -- California's world-leading environmental and energy technologies took center stage today during a tour of China's largest steel manufacturing plant when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a handful of deals between a Sacramento company and three Chinese companies valued at almost $18 million. The deals are among a dozen valued at more than $30 million that McWong Environmental and Energy Group (MEEG) of Sacramento, Calif., has secured in China in recent years. Several of those came after the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth facilitated the governor's advocacy on behalf of McWong. His recent visit to BaoSteel, one of the world's largest steel manufacturers, highlighted the growing role that California environmental and energy technologies are playing in helping China address some of the serious environmental challenges related to its booming economic and industrial expansion...

Opti-Con controller receives top innovation award -- PALMYRA, PA, Nov. 12, 2005 -- Philadelphia Mixing Solution Ltd (PMSL) announced Nov. 1 the launch of its next generation control system to monitor the performance of mixing and aeration equipment, manage equipment energy costs, and enable preventative maintenance. The Opti-Con™ controller offers operators unique control features such as touch screen input, animated GUI, secure remote Ethernet access, and full system optimization. Grand View Media sponsored the contest allowing readers and website visitors to decide which products would offer plant operators the most flow control benefit. The Opti-Con controller was voted as one of the year's most innovative solutions from a list of 60 nominees picked from over 2,500 entries. With votes from companies such as Dow Chemical, Coca-Cola, Godiva Chocolatier, 3M, Boeing, and Firestone, the controller quickly rose to the top...


In earlier newsbriefs, see: "WaterBriefs: U.S. residential water treatment market to surpass $2.6 billion in 2005" -- Also in this report (Nov. 18, 2005): Changes to Mich. drinking water rules to better protect public health; Vinyltech announces plant expansion; World Bank supports urban water supply project in Tunisia; Institute addresses administrative and legal aspects of building department management; Conn. Water to acquire South Coventry Water Supply Co.; Biorem receives $1 million order for Georgia municipality; Arcadis aids hurricane relief through Habitat for Humanity; Tetra Tech selects Batrack to succeed Hwang as CEO; Dallas jury awards Global Water Group Inc. $1 million in trade secrets case; Datastream announces continued momentum in public sector with over 2,500 users; NYSSA to present 9th Annual Water Conference; Second Annual Clean-Tech Investor Summit hosted by Clean Edge, IBF; PA awards $14.4 million in Growing Greener funds, $43 million for business development; USGS climate models help scientists understand global shifts in water availability...i>


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