France: Ondeo Nalco formed the PermaCare Membrane Separations Group to focus on developing and supporting the PermaCare range of products and services used to enhance reverse osmosis, nanofiltration and ultrafiltration applications. The PermaCare range comprises threshold antiscalants to maximise plant recovery, cleaners to restore the performance of fouled membranes and bio-control agents to combat and control biological fouling. Ondeo Nalco, a subsidiary of Ondeo, the water division of Suez, supplies water treatment and process chemicals with annual revenues of US$ 2.8 billion.
Poland: A watershed protection study for the Upper Raba River near Kraków completed by the US consultancies Wright-Pierce of Topsham, Maine and Coler & Colantonio of Norwell, Massachusetts, recommended a decentralised plan that will significantly reduce water pollution control costs and clean up the watershed. The project goal was to identify ways to protect drinking water sources, the quality of the river system and the 110,000 people in the watershed. The team applied the decentralisation concept in the sewered area to reduce the cost of the collection system. Backyard septic systems, grinder pumps and small-diameter sewers will be used where possible. The construction of small, modular wastewater treatment plants closer to the wastewater source will save costs. The team developed a decision-making process that could be applied to each residential area in the watershed that considers soils, proximity to existing wastewater treatment plants and lot size to determine the best way to serve each home and village. The team recommended US equipment upgrade existing wastewater treatment plants in the watershed, and develop new facilities and a basin-wide sludge management plan with agricultural re-use.
Sweden: Chairperson of the Global Water Partnership Organisation, Margaret Catley-Carlson and State Secretary Gun-Britt Andersson signed a host country agreement on 12 March in preparation to establish headquarters for the GWPO Secretariat in Stockholm. The establishment of an intergovernmental organisation, the Global Water Partnership Organisation, will strengthen the GWP network. Sweden, Denmark and the World Bank are the first three participants. New members are expected to join shortly.
UK: The UK government appointed WS Atkins to carry out research into the many problems with private sewers and drains throughout England and Wales. The study covers a wide range of situations - from pipes draining to shared private septic tanks to housing estates where up to 800 dwellings are jointly responsible for maintaining their private network.
Current UK legislation frequently leads to difficulties in establishing ownership and responsibilities for maintaining shared private sewers. Project Manager Tim Kelly of WS Atkins commented: "The current legislation catches many householders unawares and can cause considerable anxiety and expense to individuals. This is the first time that such a wide-ranging study into private sewers has been carried out."