WaterBriefs: DOE pushes side-stream filtration for cooling towers

Also in this report: DuPont's IDI hikes sodium chlorite/chlorine dioxide prices; Symantec to speak at Ovation Users' Group; Taiwan Power picks Invensys for Maanshan nuclear power plant upgrade; Strategic Diagnostics outsources instrument manufacturing; Engineering scholarship available at International Water Conference; Sigma acquires Pipeline Components Inc.; ASCE focuses on next generation infrastructure; ACWA, national water community celebrate Energy Bill MTBE exemption demise...

In other news below, see:
-- DuPont's IDI hikes sodium chlorite/chlorine dioxide prices
-- Symantec expert to speak at Ovation Users' Group Conference
-- Taiwan Power picks Invensys for Maanshan Nuclear Power Station DCS upgrade
-- Strategic Diagnostics outsources instrument manufacturing
-- Engineering scholarship available from International Water Conference sponsors
-- Sigma acquires Pipeline Components Inc.
-- ASCE focuses on next generation infrastructure
-- ACWA, national water community celebrate demise of Energy Bill's MTBE exemption

DOE pushes side-stream filtration for cooling towers
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 1, 2005 (PRNewswire/e-releases) -- Side-stream filtration has been recognized by the Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program, and an increasing number of Facilities Engineers as the best means for increasing the energy efficiency of cooling tower systems, while reducing water costs, maintenance costs and downtime. Listed among the Best Management Practices for Cooling Tower Systems, "side-stream filtration is particularly helpful if your system is subject to dusty atmospheric conditions. Side-stream filtration can turn a troublesome system into a more trouble-free system." (US DoE, FEMP)

Water in a cooling tower loop always contains impurities because it is open to the atmosphere. Air contains dust, dirt, soot, pollution, pollen, microbiological organisms such as airborne bacteria, spores and fungi, as well as vegetation and insects, which are all being scrubbed into the water by the cooling tower. "A typical 200-ton cooling tower in a season may assimilate upwards of 600 pounds of particulate matter from airborne dust and make-up water supply" (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE Handbook, 1996). These contaminants interfere with the efficient operation of cooling equipment, raising energy costs for facilities and lowering profitability for chemical water treaters. The U.S. Department of Energy agrees, "The thermal efficiency, proper operation and longevity of the water cooling system all depend on the quality of water and its reuse potential."

Side-stream filters are not substitutes for chemical water treatment programs, but are being recognized by every authoritative source in the industry and scientific community as the best complementary technology for chemical water treatment. While chemical programs address dissolved solids such as iron salts, hardness, and scale, filters remove suspended solids such as dust, dirt and debris, which are less predictable through the course of the cooling year. "Install a side-stream filtration system that is composed of a rapid sand filter or high-efficiency cartridge filter to cleanse the water. These systems draw water from the sump, filter out sediment and return the filtered water to the tower, enabling the system to operate more efficiently with less water and chemicals." (US DoE, FEMP)

Among the well-established mechanical filtration technologies (centrifugal, bag, cartridge, etc.), granular or sand media filtration currently has the best balance of performance and price for moderate-to-high volume institutional cooling towers. Filter Sciences has designed a class of sand media filters specifically for managers of cooling tower facilities. Filter Sciences uses the highest quality components and standardization to provide performance and long-term reliability at low cost.

Filter Sciences (www.filtersci.com) is a pioneer and industry leader in distribution of high-quality filtration and water treatment technologies. Its mission is to provide advanced filtration systems for the cooling water industry. Other important business segments include industrial process fluids, irrigation water, and best-in-class OEM water treatment technology distribution.

Dupont's IDI hikes sodium chlorite/chlorine dioxide prices
NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI, Aug. 1, 2005 -- International Dioxide Inc., a DuPont company, today announced a 5% price increase for stabilized chlorine dioxide products and a 7% price increase for sodium chlorite products.

The general price increase is in response to escalating energy and raw materials costs and will be applied to current pricing. Where applicable, transportation and materials handling related increases will be addressed on an individual account basis.

DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.
Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.

Symantec expert to speak at Ovation Users' Group Conference
CUPERTINO, CA, Aug. 1, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Symantec Corp.'s Gary Sevounts, director of power and utilities industry strategies and solutions, is presenting at the Ovation Users' Group Conference.

The conference is held annually for users of Emerson's Ovation expert control system to address technology and industry issues. Ovation, the leading process control system in the North American power generation market, is a technology from Emerson's Power & Water Solutions business headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa. The conference takes place in Pittsburgh, and runs from Aug. 1-4, 2005.

Sevounts' presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2, at 8:30 a.m. and will address how power and energy companies can effectively address security issues and concerns with a holistic approach focused on building security solutions suited to the needs of the process control environment. The presentation will outline recommendations that include assessment, testing and measuring in order to develop a robust security posture. As part of the conference's Security Issues and Concerns breakout session, Sevounts will provide an update on how Symantec products and services help power and energy companies ensure business continuity, achieve compliance with regulations and industry standards and avoid disruptions associated with information security breaches.

As director of Power and Energy strategies and solutions for Symantec Corporation, Gary Sevounts is responsible for the definition and introduction of enterprise security solutions in the electric power industry. With more than 15 years of experience in information technology including seven years in information security, Sevounts brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Symantec. His work in the electric power utilities industry is highlighted by Symantec's launch of the security solution known as Symantec for Electric Power, establishing partnerships with key industry vendors, as well as industry speaking engagements and webcasts, published articles and press interviews on the subject of SCADA / PCS cyber security.

Symantec is the world leader in providing solutions to help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability, and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at www.symantec.com.

Emerson's Power & Water Solutions (www.emersonprocess-powerwater.com) division is a global supplier of advanced distributed process control and information systems. The Pittsburgh-based company is a recognized leader in developing plant-wide process control solutions for the power generation, water treatment and wastewater treatment industries.

Taiwan Power picks Invensys for Maanshan Nuclear Power Station DCS upgrade
FOXBORO, MA, Aug. 1, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Invensys Process Systems today announced that Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) will implement I/A Series distributed control systems (DCS) from Foxboro (www.foxboro.com) for balance-of-plant control system upgrades for both units of the Maanshan Nuclear Power station located at PingTung County on the southern tip of Taiwan. As part of the contract, Invensys Taiwan, a qualified Taipower supplier, will provide a range of professional services to assist Taipower with the controls modernization project.

The I/A Series systems replace obsolete analog systems installed when the plant was built, modernizing the control schemes and overcoming increased maintenance and spare parts problems. Based on a high-speed Ethernet system backbone, the I/A Series system will control the condensate, make-up water, feedwater heater, steam reheat, cooling tower and other balance-of-plant processes at the Maanshan facility. Further, Invensys Taiwan will re-engineer the existing training simulation systems for the Maanshan station. Maanshan Units 1 and 2 are pressurized water reactors, each with a net capacity of 963 megawatts.

In addition to implementing I/A Series process automation, Invensys Taiwan will work closely with the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research, a Taiwan government-owned organization, to provide nuclear QA certification and re-licensing for Maashan. Invensys Taiwan will also work with Taipower's engineering, technical and operating personnel by providing a variety of services, including project management, engineering services, startup assistance and training programs.

Formally established in 1946, Taiwan Power Company (www.taipower.com.tw) is entrusted with the development, generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric power in Taiwan. With a generating capacity of more than 33,000 MW, the state-owned utility serves nearly 11.1 million industrial, commercial, and residential customers. Taipower operates 72 power plants, of which three are nuclear. Taipower's nuclear plants supply approximately 20% of Taiwan's ever-growing electrical energy needs, particularly for industrial use.

For the nuclear power generation industry, Invensys Process Systems combines systems, engineering, and support capabilities to provide a cost-effective, full-scope solution for plant life extensions. With nearly five decades of nuclear industry experience worldwide, an advanced process control system from Foxboro, 1E certified safety systems from Triconex, and sophisticated simulation tools from SimSci-Esscor, Invensys brings together the expertise and resources to provide the industry's only fully integrated instrumentation and digital control upgrade solution.

The Invensys Group (www.invensys.com) is made up of five businesses: Process Systems, APV, Eurotherm, Rail Systems and Controls. The Group is headquartered in London and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, with over 30,000 employees working in 60 countries.

Strategic Diagnostics outsources instrument manufacturing
NEWARK, DE, Aug. 1, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Strategic Diagnostics Inc., a leading provider of biotechnology-based detection solutions for a broad range of food, water, agricultural, industrial, environmental and scientific applications, announced today the signing of an instrument outsourcing agreement with an original equipment manufacturer (the OEM) effective August 1, 2005. The agreement covers the Company's Microtox(R) line of products.

At the same time, the Company said it has closed its Oceanside, California facility. This facility has been managing equipment rental and maintenance, as well as low volume fabrication. The rental and maintenance functions will be consolidated to SDI's Newark, Delaware facilities. The Company expects yearly savings from these changes to exceed $120,000 and will incur a one-time charge of approximately $60,000 in the 3rd quarter of 2005 associated with the closing of the facility.

"The Company is continually looking at our product lines and processes. In this case, sourcing equipment from and the OEM will allow us to reduce manufacturing costs, improve the expertise and quality service our customers have come to expect, and provide the Company with more flexibility in the manufacturing," commented Matthew Knight, President and Chief Executive Officer of SDI. "While we continue to develop Microtox® technologies and invest in the platform, the manufacturing of the current generation of equipment can be accomplished more efficiently in the OEM relationship we have established."

SDI develops and markets biotechnology based detection solutions for a broad range of food, water, agricultural, industrial, environmental and scientific applications. By leveraging its expertise in immunology, proteomics, bio-luminescence, and other bio-reactive technologies with innovative application and production capabilities, the Company is able to provide sophisticated diagnostic testing and immunoreagent systems to a diverse customer base serving multiple vertical markets. Through its Strategic BioSolutions™ brand, SDI serves the research, human diagnostic and pharmaceutical sectors with a wide range of services including complete outsourcing for the production of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies used in commercialized products offered by leading diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies.

ASCE focuses on next generation infrastructure
RESTON, VA, Aug. 1, 2005 -- According to a recent EPA assessment, an estimated $277 billion in investment over the next 20 years is needed to ensure that drinking water remains safe. In 2002, U.S. commercial port systems provided 1.1 million jobs and contributed over $700 billion to the national economy. To address the current and future needs of these two vital infrastructure systems, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will examine all aspects of visionary leadership in transportation and water infrastructure at its 2005 Annual Civil Engineering Conference, held Oct. 27-29, 2005, in Los Angeles at the Wilshire Grand Hotel.

The next generation of infrastructure will be the focus of the transportation and water infrastructure conference forums. Both will examine management and leadership issues, including the planning and financing of major improvement projects, and project delivery management. The transportation sessions will explore the improvement and expansion plans for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (San Pedro Bay Ports) -- the busiest port systems in the nation -- and will include an all-day tour of the ports as well as the Alameda Corridor, a 17-mile, grade-separated railroad express line from the port complex.

The water infrastructure forum will examine California's various innovative water systems and management plans, including the California Water Plan, San Diego Creek Watershed Natural Treatment System, Santa Ana Watershed Project and a Groundwater Replenishment Project, among others. The forum will include a two tours: one exploring the City of Los Angeles' Owens Valley Water Supply at the City of Los Angeles Filtration Plant, the City of Long Beach Desalination Facility and the Sun Valley Watershed Management Plan project sites; the other visiting the Orange County Water Recycling Projects, including the wetland restoration projects along the Santa Anna River, the water reuse project in the City of Irvine, the Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System and the Southern California Integrated Watershed Program.

The conference will also feature a Visionary Leaders Forum, a Student Forum on Career Development and Leadership, and two special pre-conference programs--one presenting the lessons learned from the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster and the other a workshop on global principles for professional conduct. The conference's opening session will include a presentation of the ASCE Los Angeles Section's Report Cards on local infrastructure from four regional counties, the national 2005 Report Card for America's Infrastructure and the 2005 Excellence in Journalism Award.

The opening plenary keynote speaker will be Alan Boeckmann, chairman of the board and CEO of Fluor, and chairman of the World Economic Forum's Engineering and Construction Task Force Partnership Against Corruption Initiative. Additional conference speakers will include Todd Spitzer, California State Assembly Member (71st District); Lieutenant General Robert L. Van Antwerp, Commanding General, U.S. Army Accessions Command; General Hank Hatch, P.E., F.ASCE, U.S. Army (ret.); Lester A. Snow, director, California Department of Water Resources; Sunne Wright McPeak, California State Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing; Tony Gioiello, chief harbor engineer of design, Port of Los Angeles; Sumi Gant, city traffic engineer, City of Long Beach; Joe Grindstaff, chief deputy director, California Department of Water Resources; Timothy Quinn, vice president, State water project resources, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Gary Moore, city engineer, City of Los Angeles, and Virginia Grebbien, P.E., general manager, Orange County Water District.

For more information on the upcoming ASCE annual conference, please visit www.asce.org/conferences/annual05/.

Founded in 1852, ASCE represents more than 137,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. The society celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2002.

Engineering scholarship available from International Water Conference sponsors
PITTSBURGH, PA, July 31, 2005 -- The Joseph A. Levendusky Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year at the International Water Conference by Epicor Inc. in memory of the founder of the company who was an active participant in the IWC Advisory Council.

This year's event, the 66th Annual IWC, will be held Oct. 9-13 at the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., the first time it hasn't been held in Pittsburgh.

The IWC staff administers the application process for student scholarship and the Executive Commitee evaluates the applications and makes a recommendation to Epicor on the awardee. Attached is the information on the student scholarship from the Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) website IWC page, which also has the Application Request Form.

This Scholarship, with funding up to $7,000 per year, will be awarded to an undergraduate student in mechanical or chemical engineering who meets the following criteria and requirements:
-- Demonstrated interest and commitment to seek a career in the field of water technology. [Environmental wastewater, water pollution control and water resource management not included.]
-- Acceptance for enrollment in, or be enrolled in good standing as a student in an accredited institution.

Schedule:
* Sept. 1, 2005 -- Completed applications must be returned to the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania
* Oct. 3, 2005 -- Awardee(s) are announced
* Oct. 9-13, 2005 -- Awardee(s) attend the IWC in Orlando, Fla., to receive award

The IWC has not received any applications for the 2005 scholarship to date. Several former recipients of this scholarship have gone on to successful careers in water technology and some have presented papers at IWC conferences. For more information, contact t.devlin@eswp.com or 412-261-0710 or see: www.eswp.com/water.

For 20 years, Epicor (www.epicor.com), of Irvine, Calif., has been a recognized leader dedicated to providing integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) software solutions to midmarket companies around the world. With the acquisition of Scala, Epicor is a global leader in the midmarket serving over 20,000 customers in over 140 countries.

Sigma acquires Pipeline Components Inc.
CREAMRIDGE, NJ, July 31, 2005 -- Sigma Corp. has successfully concluded a transaction to acquire certain business assets of Pipeline Components Inc. (PCI) of Houston, Texas for integration into Sigma's structure, effective immediately.

PCI was started in 1997 by Bob Karim and Steve Saha as a new supplier of certain products to the American water and sewer distribution industry. Over the past eight years, PCI became a growing supplier of AWWA fittings and accessories, municipal construction castings and a few related products. In 2002, PCI had acquired the business interests of Fastech, a regional supplier located in Pensacola, Fla., known for its prompt customer service and augmented its operations with the addition of fittings. In 2003, PCI opened a distribution facility in Phoenix, Ariz. Over this period, PCI's aggressive growth plans stretched various resources leading to the inevitable strain on personnel, finances, supply chain, and customer service.

In a press release, the company stated: "At Sigma, we deem this acquisition to be a strategic opportunity to strengthen our industry both in the manufacturing and distribution sides. This will enable Sigma and likely other suppliers as well to improve our product range and service through increased investment. We respect the success PCI has had and we look forward to extending our service to all the customers serviced by PCI, if we do not do so already, through Sigma's well established national sales and service infrastructure, known for its high caliber customer service and relationship culture. We have added a select group of PCI's personnel to Sigma's diverse team to enhance our customer coverage in sales, spec-work and service areas."

Sigma plans to blend PCI's Houston operations with its own Houston facility and the Pensacola operations with Sigma's Alexander City, Ala., facility. It plans to continue the Phoenix facility as a new satellite of Sigma's Ontario, Calif., facility. The company will continue to work with a select part of PCI's supply base and blend them with Sigma's proven, steady production structure.

The company asked that all customers currently serviced by PCI contact Sigma at the appropriate facility -- be it Houston, Texas, for the Southwest, Alexander City, Ala., for the Southeast, Chicago for the Midwest, Cream Ridge, N.J., for the Northeast, and Ontario, Calif., for the West and the Northwest. Please contact our website www.sigmaco.com for all details on Sigma's product range, contact information and our team and facility structure. For special queries, please call Craig Schapiro at 1-800-999-2550 x 238.

SIGMA (www.sigmaco.com) is a Creamridge, N.J., business since 1985. It's a joint venture between a group of management professionals with experience in the American Waterworks industry and the China Minmetals Group, a large, diversified manufacturing and trading company. Over the last 16 years, its core products have been waterworks pipe fittings and accessories, in CI and DI, as per AWWA/ANSI standards C110/A21.10 and C153/A21.53. The company pioneered production of these pipe fittings in China starting in 1985 and has grown steadily to become the second largest AWWA pipe fittings supplier in United States.

ACWA, national water community celebrate demise of Energy Bill's MTBE exemption
WASHINGTON, DC, July 31, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Water agencies on Friday celebrated passage of a national Energy Bill (HR 6) in both the House and the Senate, which abandons a product liability exemption for producers of the fuel additive MTBE. The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), representing water districts in California affected by MTBE, had opposed the provision.

"The energy legislation has been cured of an ailment that's been afflicting this bill for years," said ACWA Executive Director Steve Hall. "We are elated to see that this issue was put aside so that HR 6 could pass, and we extend our special thanks to the House and Senate conferees, particularly Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM)."

An energy bill has been on Congress' agenda since 2001, and during the last Congress, the MTBE provision brought the entire effort to a halt in the U.S. Senate. The safe harbor would have prohibited courts from recognizing MTBE as a defective product, effectively barring water districts from recovering cleanup costs for groundwater contamination. HR 6 passed the House with a vote of 275-156, and the Senate with a vote of 74-26.

President Bush has insisted that Congress finish the energy bill before August, which brought added urgency to resolving the MTBE issue. And for months, California Representative Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), joined by Rep. Hilda Solis (D-El Monte), have held press conferences and sent letters urging that MTBE not be allowed to bring down another energy bill. ACWA's involvement with a broad, national coalition of local government representatives and advocates kept pressure on Congress to do the right thing, and as a result the MTBE safe harbor provision was dropped.

In addition to removing the MTBE language, conferees also updated the process for the re-licensing of hydroelectric facilities. Previously, federal agencies alone could dictate the terms for the operation of dams. Under new, bipartisan language, the facilities' operators and third parties will have new authority to propose alternative conditions. Hydroelectric facility licenses typically last from 10 to 25 years.

ACWA is a statewide association whose 440 public agency members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit www.acwa.com.

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In earlier newsbriefs, see:
-- "WaterBriefs: Iowa State wins Metcalf & Eddy design competition" -- Also in this report (July 29, 2005): Colorado River, MTBE top Brown & Caldwell news of week; Water balances for power plants addressed at SW Chemistry Workshop; Hoover joins MWH as national residuals practice leader; San Antonio picks PBS&J for Eastern Basin Project to aid CWA compliance; Black & Veatch invited to deliver keynote address at 2005 Stockholm Water Symposium...

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