Study results and other industry topics are the focus of this month's "For Openers."

Opinions vary as to the health threat posed by perchlorate, a toxic chemical leftover from Cold War defense manufacturing that has made its way into drinking water systems in 35 states.
Results from a study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) have caused no small stir among those trying to deal with the perchlorate situation. The NAS has determined that perchlorate, a toxic chemical primarily used in the manufacture of rocket fuel and explosives, is safe for consumption at levels up to 20 parts per billion in drinking water. That's 20 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2002 preliminary recommendation of 1 part per billion.

Predictably, the bleeding hearts are outraged. They did, however, demonstrate considerable restraint by waiting a full two seconds before invoking the well-worn “but-what-about-our-children” harangue/mantra. Then, as is their wont when anyone has the temerity to not kowtow to their bleatings, they claimed the fix is in. They'll explain to you that the government wants a weaker standard so as not to upset the influence-heavy defense industry.

The EPA is trying to come up with a national standard for perchlorate in drinking water and this new information has spiced up an already-lively debate over the dangers of perchlorate. NAS was ordered by the White House in 2003 to review the EPA's original 1 part per billion recommendation that it proposed in 2002.

The Pentagon has floated 200 parts per billion (not helping its cause in the least); the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protections thinks 18 parts per billion is about right; and California's standard is 6 parts per billion.

This one isn't going to go smoothly or quietly. Whatever happens, there will be much blustering throughout the entire process. Here's hoping science, fiscal responsibility and common sense prevail in the end.

Arsenic Treatment Technology Reports

To ensure drinking water technologies are available for consumers to reduce exposure to arsenic, the not-for-profit NSF International announced the release of four final verification reports through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/NSF Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Drinking Water Systems (DWS) Center. These new reports were produced to specify testing results of drinking water treatment technologies that help consumers avoid exposure to arsenic, which cause serious health problems.

“These reports are an important step in protecting the public from arsenic exposure,” says Bruce Bartley, NSF's technical manager in the ETV DWS Center. “By providing consumers with proven results of product evaluations, these evaluation reports accelerate the implementation of new drinking water technologies into the marketplace.”

The ETV DWS Center reports demonstrate a significant reduction of arsenic in drinking water. These tests were performed in small communities in three states.

With assistance through an EPA grant, NSF International entered into an agreement in 2000 with the EPA to form the ETV DWS Center. The ETV DWS Center is dedicated to providing independent performance evaluations of drinking water technologies and helping small communities comply with the 10 µg/L MCL. As of January 23, 2006, all public water systems will be required to comply with the 10 µg/L MCL.

“NSF expects the release of three additional reports on arsenic reduction technologies for drinking water in 2005,” concludes Bartley.

Sandvik/Rotary Deal

Atlanta-based Sandvik Mining and Construction recently an-nounced a new business relationship with Rotary Drilling Equipment, the company's long-time distributor of Driltech and Driltech Mission products. Rotary Drilling Equipment now will distribute these products as Sandvik Mining and Construction.

Golden Eagle Recipients

Goulds Pumps, ITT Water Technology, Inc. awarded the 2004 Golden Eagle - the company's oldest and most prestigious honor for exceptional sales and marketing achievement - to customer service center manager Jeff Barrow, marketing development manager Randy Cracknell, and territory sales manager Terry Jordan at the company's annual sales and marketing meeting. Now in its 21st year, the Golden Eagle is given to individuals who've been with the company for at least a decade and whose sales or customer service accomplishments have consistently exceeded expectations during that time.

New Schramm Distributor

Schramm Inc. announces the appointment of Universal Drill Rigs S.A. (UDR Chile) as its distributor in all Latin American countries, with the exception of Argentina. UDR Chile, based in Santiago, is a wholly owner subsidiary of Major Drilling Group International Inc., and is part of the Australia-based UDR Group.

ITT Sets Q4 EPS Record

ITT Industries Inc. reported fourth quarter 2004 net income of $121.6 million, up $13.5 million (12%) over the period in 2003. A diluted earnings per share for the quarter was $1.29, a record high for the company.

ND Staff Announcement

Congratulations to Lisa Schroeder, who has been promoted to managing editor ofNational Driller. She previously served as associate editor.