WaterBriefs: Synchrony client earns Va. 'Excellence in Waterworks Operations Award'

In other news: Nalco hikes prices to the paper industry; Santa Rosa, Calif. wins ACWA's 2005 Clair Hill Award; Aqua America expands N.C. base with three acquisitions; Great Lakes Chemical sale approved...

In other news below:
Nalco announces price increase to the paper industry
City of Santa Rosa wins ACWA's 2005 Clair Hill Award
Aqua America expands N.C. base with three acquisitions
Great Lakes Chemical gains approval for sale

Synchrony client earns Va. 'Excellence in Waterworks Operations Award'
ROANOKE, VA, May 5, 2005 -- The Waterloo Property Owners Association of Warrenton, a client of Synchrony of Roanoke, was presented the first annual Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water "Excellence in Waterworks Operations Award" at a breakfast ceremony celebrating National Safe Drinking Water Week at the Hotel Roanoke.

Tom Rush, chief administrator for Waterloo, credited Synchrony with keeping the system in top operating condition at all times, citing significant assistance in checking, troubleshooting and fixing issues, as well as for working with the board to develop a highly functional and cost-effective system that could be implemented in phases.

The award recognizes waterworks that provide outstanding service to customers and find solutions to critical drinking water problems. The aim is to increase public awareness of the importance of safe and clean drinking water. Waterloo was recognized for its excellence in performance, operations and methods of distributing drinking water to the more than 75 homes and the fire hydrants in the upscale development.

Synchrony, founded in 1993, provides advanced controls and information systems to a wide variety of business clients, including automated manufacturers, water treatment facilities and aerospace companies. Virginia Business rated it as one of Virginia's "Fantastic Fifty" privately-owned companies in 2000, soon after it moved to its current 9,000-square-foot plant in Roanoke County's Southwest Industrial Park.

The company provided Waterloo with hardware and software for a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that monitors and controls remote equipment such as pumps and valves.

The system was specifically designed to meet the tight budget of a small community water system. The system architecture features wireless radio communication between the 75,000-gallon water tank and five well sites, eliminating the cost of leased telephone lines and reducing the likelihood of lightning disabling the system. It proved valuable soon after installation when a faulty pump was instantly located, leading to the quick repair of a leak in the system.

Other recent activities of Synchrony include the automation of a production line at Metalsa Roanoke that manufactures truck rails and the development of a generator for aircraft electrical power.

Synchrony (www.synchrony.com), of Roanoke, Va., offers controls, information and instrumentation systems to government and industry. Its expertise is innovation, development and integration of mechanical, electronic, computational and software subsystems. Included among its products is the H2OFLOTM SCADA system, used to control and monitor large and small water and wastewater systems for private and public owners.

Nalco announces price increase to the paper industry
NAPERVILLE, IL, May 4, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Nalco Company announced a price increase for specialty chemicals and all programs sold to paper industry customers, effective immediately. The price increase will be 10% for most products, with more significant adjustments where necessary.

The price increase is driven by continued significant increases in cost of raw materials, energy and freight. This price increase is in addition to the price adjustments announced in June and September 2004.

Nalco's Paper Services Account Managers will follow up with their appropriate customers.

Nalco (www.nalco.com) is the leading provider of integrated water treatment and process improvement services, chemicals and equipment programs for industrial and institutional applications. The company currently serves more than 60,000 customer locations representing a broad range of end markets. It has established a global presence with over 10,000 employees operating in 130 countries supported by a comprehensive network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and research centers. In 2004, it achieved sales of $3 billion.

City of Santa Rosa wins ACWA's 2005 Clair Hill Award
SAN JOSE, CA, May 4, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) presented its prestigious Clair A. Hill Award to the city of Santa Rosa for its Santa Rosa Geysers Recharge Project.

The award was presented to the district during the ACWA Spring Conference, a statewide event attended by more than 2,000 water officials. Santa Rosa was selected from among six finalists to receive the award.

"The city of Santa Rosa has provided an outstanding example of innovation and leadership in the water community," said ACWA President Jerry Gladbach. "This ambitious project is really a win-win situation in that it deals with wastewater in an environmentally responsible manner while at the same time producing clean, needed power for the region."

The idea for the project was born when Santa Rosa sought an environmentally responsible way to dispose of recycled water without increasing discharge to the Russian River. The solution was a 40-mile pipeline, conveying 11 million gallons of recycled water every day to recharge the aquifer at the Geysers -- the world's largest steam field. The steam field provides electricity for up to 100,000 residents each year.

Other finalists for this year's award were:
-- El Dorado Irrigation District, in recognition of its Lake Aloha Dam Restoration Project;
-- East Bay Municipal Utility District for its Contracting Price Adjustment Process for Major Multiple Year Contracts;
-- Contra Costa Water District for its Delta Discovery Voyage Program;
-- Inland Empire Utilities Agency, in recognition of its Waterwise Garden in Every School program; and
-- Santa Clara Valley Water District for its Water Softener Rebate Pilot Program.

ACWA's Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence is an annual awards program begun in 1988 that recognizes outstanding achievements by public water agencies. The winning agency receives a $3,000 scholarship to award to a deserving student in the name of Clair A. Hill, founder of the consulting engineering firm CH2M Hill. The winner is recognized at the association's conference as well as throughout the year.

ACWA (www.acwa.com) is a statewide association whose 440 public agency members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California.

Aqua America expands North Carolina base with three acquisitions
BRYN MAWR, PA, May 3, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Aqua America Inc. announced that its North Carolina subsidiaries, Aqua North Carolina Inc. and Heater Utilities Inc. collectively completed three acquisitions to broaden its water and wastewater operations in the Tar Heel State. The combined cost of the new acquisitions is about $250,000.

"These acquisitions show that North Carolina remains a strong growth with respect to acquisition prospects as well as organic growth," said Aqua America chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis.

The three North Carolina acquisitions will bring the companies' services to about 2,200 residents in three counties. They include:
-- Aqua's purchase of the Lake Ridge Aero Park subdivision wastewater operations in Durham County, which serve about 130 residents. Aqua currently supplies water to the subdivision.
-- Heater Utilities' purchase of the water system assets for all the North Carolina operations of Alpha Utilities, Inc., which serve about 1,500 residents in Wake County. Heater plans to invest about $200,000 in capital improvements to the water systems.
-- Aqua's purchase of the water system assets of the Fleetwood Falls subdivision in Ashe County, which serves about 550 residents. This is Aqua's first acquisition in Ashe County.

According to the president of Aqua America's North Carolina operations, Neil Phillips, the companies continue to work with developers to acquire water systems in new satellite developments to supplement the companies' traditional growth.

Aqua and Heater Utilities provide water and wastewater services to more than 210,000 residents in 30 North Carolina counties. The company entered North Carolina in December 2000 when it acquired MidSouth Utilities of Sherrills Ford.

Aqua America Inc. (www.aquaamerica.com) is the largest U.S.-based publicly-traded water utility, serving more than 2.5 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, New York, and South Carolina.

Great Lakes Chemical gains approval for sale
INDIANAPOLIS, April 29, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -- Great Lakes Chemical Corp. announced that the required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 has expired. This satisfies U.S. premerger notification requirements for the proposed merger between Great Lakes and Crompton Corporation.

Approval of the transaction by European competition authorities is still pending.

Great Lakes Chemical Corp. (www.greatlakes.com) is the world's leading producer of certain specialty chemicals for such applications as water treatment, household cleaners, flame retardants, polymer stabilizers, fire suppressants, and performance products.

For earlier news briefs, see: "WaterBriefs: Thousands of students in 8 states, Canada test the waters" -- ALSO: UK watchdog considers plans on sewer flooding problems; Pulp & paper industry focuses on customer loyalty; Itron offers water utilities webinar; Top science students reap rewards from Ciba; Penn. DEP awards $500K in source water grants; Ohio, Penn. plan joint meeting on Ohio River watershed management; Solvay pump impeller helps commercial laundry maker; EPA praises Smithfield Foods for environmental leadership; SPL launches new business intelligence solution for utilities; Nev. water authority, home builders unveil first 'water smart home'; Everpure targets 'Urbanolas' in consumer water filtration push; Chlorine Chemistry Council introduces www.chlorinetree.org...

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