WaterBriefs: Praxair hikes prices for certain cylinder gases

In other news: UK conference focuses on brighter future for domestic metering; Contech continues aggressive march to growth; Iowa town eighth CartêGraph client accredited by APWA; Cal Water completes purchase of Los Trancos Water System; TiPS and D-RoTH declare partnership; Tri-Rep Sales, Braswell added as Watts Drainage representatives...

In other news below:
-- UK conference focuses on brighter future for domestic metering
-- Contech continues aggressive march to top line growth
-- Iowa town becomes eighth CartêGraph client accredited by APWA
-- Cal Water completes purchase of Los Trancos Water System
-- TiPS and D-RoTH declare partnership
-- Tri-Rep Sales, Braswell added as Watts Drainage representatives

Praxair hikes prices for certain cylinder gases
DANBURY, CT, April 28, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Praxair Inc. has notified U.S. and Canadian customers of price increases for certain pure gases and mixtures. The gases affected include ammonia, arsine, boron trifluoride, chlorine, ethylene oxide, cyanides, diborane, fluorine, hydrogen bromide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, phosphine and sulfur dioxide.

Praxair has completed a three-year program, including extensive security assessments throughout the corporation and implementation of security upgrades where necessary at Praxair's manufacturing facilities. These reviews and upgrades were all in conformance with the additional security initiatives developed by industry associations such as the American Chemistry Council and the Compressed Gases Association. The price increases are necessary to help offset the increased costs associated with the secure handling, storage and distribution of these products. A minimum price increase of $50 (CAD$62) per cylinder will be imposed on these gases. In addition, Praxair will eliminate discounts offered for these products.

Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2004 sales of $6.6 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technology bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, food and beverage, healthcare, semiconductor materials, steel, chemicals and refining, metal fabrication, water treatment, glass and others. For more information, visit Praxair on the Internet at www.praxair.com.

UK conference focuses on a brighter future for domestic metering
SWINDON, United Kingdom, April 28, 2005 -- "Building the Customer Interface" is the theme for a National Conference on Domestic Metering to be held in Swindon, Wiltshire, England, on July 12 at the De Vere Hotel.

Organized by water and environmental consultants The WRc Group, the conference will take a comprehensive look at all aspects of metering from the customers viewpoint including the expansion of metering as well as the more contentious issue of the disconnection ban and improving customer relationship management.

Maurice Terry from the consumer advocacy group WaterVoice will provide the keynote address and Alan Walker of Northern Ireland's General Consumer Council will represent the customers viewpoint. Simon Dresner of the Policy Studies Institute will look at recent research into tariff structures including the design of social and environmental conscious tariffs.

"The idea for the conference initiated from the growing concerns in the water industry over bad debt, affordability, the current metering programme and projections for increases in water shortages, all of which appeared not to have been tackled in a coordinated way. Moreover metering is a crucial feature to all these issues." comments Simon Gordon-Walker "We are optimistic that this conference will set the standards for developing a blue print for a coordinated strategy on metering."

Other speakers include: George Archibald, of Severn Trent; Allan Millard, of Dwr Cymru; and Dene Marshallsay, of WRc.

An exhibition is being organized to compliment the conference sponsored by SBWWI and will provide networking opportunities with the delegates. Further information on the conference can be obtained from www.wrcplc.co.uk/metering

WRc is currently involved in a number of metering projects for the water industry -- one is a collaborative research project to develop better understanding of variation in water consumption at the microcomponent level. For further information about collaborative research projects, see the following websites: www.wrcplc.co.uk, www.wrcnsf.com and www.waterportfolio.com.

Contech continues aggressive march to top line growth
MIDDLETOWN, OH, April 28, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- With it's recently announced acquisition of Stormwater Management Inc., Contech Construction Products Inc. continues on a path of aggressive growth through product diversification, market expansion and acquisitions. As a result of the acquisition, Stormwater Management is merging with Vortechnics Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Contech.

"This has secured our position in the forefront of the Stormwater treatment industry," said Patrick M. Harlow, president and CEO of Contech. "With the acquisition of Stormwater Management Inc., and the 2004 acquisition of Vortechnics Inc., Contech now boasts two of the premier stormwater solution providers in the nation."

Since 2000, Contech has pursued its growth and diversification strategy through a series of acquisitions, primarily in the bridge and stormwater markets. "Contech has long been known as one of the nation's largest providers of drainage solutions for the heavy and highway construction industry. This acquisition elevates Contech to the same stature in the stormwater marketplace," said Harlow. Since taking the helm of Contech in 1999, it has successfully acquired six major players in the bridge and stormwater-related markets:
-- Keystone Retaining Walls 1999
-- Continental Bridge 2001
-- Steadfast Bridge 2001
-- BEBO Concrete Arch Structures 2003
-- Vortechnics Inc. 2004
-- Stormwater Management Inc. 2005

"These acquisitions have been very successful in helping Contech fulfill its growth strategy," said Chuck Marzullo, vice president of business development. "We're enjoying annual growth in the 10-15% range, a significant achievement in the site development industry, typically a conservative growth market."

That impressive growth record will continue according to Harlow. "We have new products ready for roll-out. New markets we're expanding into. And of course, a short-list of emerging leaders in our growth markets that we're looking at as potential acquisitions. We've accomplished a great deal in expanding our business over the past five years. And, we are well positioned to continue outperforming the market in the foreseeable future."

Stormwater Management Inc. (www.stormwaterinc.com) is a leading provider of stormwater treatment products and services to the stormwater industry. Based in Portland, Ore., the company has 15 offices and more than 90 employees throughout the United States to provide maintenance, laboratory and engineering support.

Contech (www.contech-cpi.com) is a leading civil engineering site solutions products and services company. Privately owned with headquarters in Middletown, Ohio, it's the only nationwide provider of corrugated metal and plastic pipe, detention/retention systems, geogrid and geotextile materials, erosion control products, bridge structures, retaining wall systems and stormwater treatment solutions. Its product portfolio is based on more than a century of research and practical field experience serving the highway, drainage, sewage and site-improvement markets.

For an earlier report on this topic, see: "Vortechnics and Stormwater Management to merge"

Iowa town eighth CarteGraph client accredited by APWA
DUBUQUE, IA, April 28, 2005 -- The city of Bettendorf, Iowa, becomes the eighth CarteGraph client to earn accreditation by the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the first city in Iowa to be granted this status. The APWA accreditation program recognizes those Public Works agencies that exceed the requirements of the management practices established nationally in the Public Works industry.

Just the 22nd of 23 cities in the United States and Canada to be accredited, the Bettendorf Public Works Department joins organizations like Clark County, Nev., who have demonstrated a degree of professionalism that compares with the very best organizations nationwide. On a daily basis, they meet or exceed the standards of performance in areas such as solid waste management, street/sewer repair and maintenance, engineering, building maintenance and vehicle maintenance.

Along with the Bettendorf and Clark County, other CarteGraph clients who are accredited include Coconino County, Ariz.; Dublin, Ohio; Golden, Colo.; Greeley, Colo.; Olathe, Kan., and Port St. Lucie, Fla.. Each of these cities is taking its city to the next level with software technology that assists in making their day-to-day operations run smoothly.

Clark County, accredited in August 2001 and re-accredited September 2004, has been a CarteGraph client since 1997. "Using the active databases of CarteGraph has helped our department in preparing many projects for bid and presentations to our department heads and county commissioners," commented Lonnie Wilborn, Principal Engineering Technician for Clark County. "The one component in our accreditation that we list is our "Safe Route to School" program which uses CartêGraph's active database in map preparations."

CarteGraph (www.cartegraph.com), the leader in public works asset management, develops software and provides service solutions dedicated to the collection, management and analysis of asset data for Public Works departments. Software and service solutions are available for asset, work and request management as well as GIS integration. CarteGraph software is used worldwide by a diverse group of over 1000 organizations including small towns, large cities, counties, states and federal agencies, and private firms.

Cal Water completes purchase of Los Trancos Water System
SAN JOSE, CA, April 27, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- California Water Service Company (Cal Water) has finished acquiring the assets of the Los Trancos County Water District, which serves 270 homes in the areas of Portola Valley and unincorporated San Mateo County.

"We're looking forward to providing our new customers with excellent customer service. The Los Trancos water system is in very good condition and it will fit well with our existing operations," said District Manager Darin Duncan.

The new system includes about 20 miles of pipe, six pump stations, and six storage tanks and is contiguous to existing Cal Water operations. Los Trancos customers will likely see a decrease in rates. The purchase has been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Department of Health Services, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

"We have a highly qualified team of certified water professionals who are dedicated to ensuring that Los Trancos customers continue to receive a reliable supply of high quality water as well as the responsive, 24-hour service for which Cal Water is known," Duncan said.

Cal Water's Bear Gulch District has provided water utility services in the communities of Woodside, Portola Valley, Menlo Park, and Atherton since 1935. The District serves about 60,000 people through 17,770 service connections. Cal Water also serves customers in nearby communities of South San Francisco, San Mateo, San Carlos, and Los Altos. Additional information about the company may be obtained online at www.calwater.com.

TiPS and D-RoTH declare partnership
GEORGETOWN, TX, & SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH, April 27, 2005 -- Georgetown's TiPS Inc. and Shaker Heights' D-RoTH Inc. have formed a partnership that establishes single-point access to best-in-class alarm management solutions including training, tools and project technology. As members of an elite community of vendors specializing in the design and delivery of alarm management products and services, TiPS and D-RoTH provide unmatched capabilities.

Alarm management is a proven way to deliver important financial and safety improvements to petrochemicals, power, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, and a host of other manufacturing enterprises. Alarm management is addresses inefficiencies in operations, delivering more output of higher quality by leveraging existing assets, while actually improving the margin of safety.
TiPS and D-RoTH will combine their experience and knowledge to help manufacturers more quickly realize the benefits of alarm management.

TiPS develops and distributes LogMateAMS, an advanced alarm management software package and provides the highest quality of services available from any vendor in the alarm management field. With the largest alarm management specific customer base in the industry, TiPS provides an unequalled resource for alarm management software and services. TiPS can be found online at www.tipsweb.com.

D-RoTH is the consulting business success of Doug Rothenberg, a formative member of the Alarm Management Task Force and the ASM Consortium and a member of the team that designed the EEMUA 191 best practices guidelines. He provides state-of-the-art alarm management training and consulting services worldwide. D-RoTH can be found online at
www.d-roth.com.

Tri-Rep Sales, Braswell & Associates new Watts Drainage representatives
NORTH ANDOVER, MA, April 27, 2005 -- Watts Drainage is pleased to announce that Tri-Rep Sales, Inc. and Braswell & Associates are now authorized Watts Drainage Products representative for Texas.

Serving southern Texas, Tri-Rep's main office is at:
Tri-Rep Sales Inc.
26606 Oakridge Drive
Spring, TX 77380
Tel: 281-362-7515; Fax: 281-362-7516

Serving northern Texas, Braswell's main office is at:
Braswell & Associates
3243 Garden Brook Drive
Farmers Branch, TX 75234
Tel: 972-713-7465; Fax: 972-713-6424

Watts Drainage, a division of Watts Regulator (www.wattsreg.com), with headquarters in North Andover, Mass. It offers a complete line of floor drains, sanitary floor sinks, trench drains, roof drains, grease, oil and sediment interceptors, cleanouts, hydrants, fixture carriers and other miscellaneous specialties.

For additional news briefs, see:
-- "WaterBriefs: Pittsburgh engineering unit wins U.S. military support contract": ALSO in this report (April 25, 2005): Louisville, Jefferson County settle on SSO/CSO case; AK Steel's Mansfield Plant to pay $187,500 EPA fine; AWWA - House retains MTBE provision that would soak water consumers; Mayors decry multi-billion dollar MTBE unfunded mandate approved by House...

-- "WaterBriefs: Acquisition risks for utilities topic at regional conference": ALSO in this report (April 25, 2005): Cytec to sell share of CYRO Industries joint venture; SecureWave partners with Gotham Technology Group; Baltimore adopts watershed protection plan for waterways; Three PennWorks projects to add 20,000 jobs, $670 million investment; Optelecom announces name change to Optelecom-NKF

-- "WaterBriefs: PICO to supply water for new community in Lincoln County, Nev.": ALSO in this report (April 22, 2005): CarteGraph heads to Florida, Arizona for user groups; Unico mining approval includes extensive water treatment; and New Jersey American Water to host ceremony for new Springfield facilities...

-- "WaterBriefs: Antibacterial research should focus on facts, not fear": ALSO in this report (April 15, 2005): Cytec hikes prices on water treatment chemicals; Beverage reports out for France, East Asia; U.S.-Russia filter in Space Technology Hall of Fame; MWD authorizes groundwater recovery projects; ACWA enters solar energy partnership; PennFuture lauds $625M environmental bond; Home Depot, Lowe's asked to sell non-toxic lawn pesticides; Citect wins Cincinnati Water Works project; Ecolab's quat sanitizer offers disinfection solution; Calif. to offer desalination, groundwater grants...

-- "WaterBriefs: Aqua America unit builds wastewater business with two acquisitions": ALSO in this report (April 1, 2005): Pirnie-McGuire Environmental merger done; Ohio county wins biosolids EMS certification; Koch Industries sponsors DC watershed cleanup; Judge scraps Nestle deal to buy half-billion gallons of spring water; Insituform pipeline tunneling unit honored; UK aids P&G clean water effort in Haiti; AchemAmerica focuses on process technologies at Mexico City event; Aqua-Aerobic breaks ground to expand; WEF, others commemorate World Water Day...

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