Industry news, plus readers write in.

Standard Now Includes POE Systems

After years of work on the issue, NSF/ANSI 61 has been changed to include point-of-entry (POE) systems. The update is good news for manufacturers, which, in some cases, had to test and certify products or components to two different standards for the same thing – materials safety.

NSF/ANSI 61 is the international standard for drinking water additives. It covers materials safety for all equipment that comes into contact with drinking water. Nearly all plumbing codes and states require compliance to Standard 61 for public and semi-public water supply applications.

NSF/ANSI 44 applies to residential cation-exchange water softeners. Because Standard 44 included its own section on materials safety, with different procedures for testing and certifying the materials, Standard 61 simply excluded POE drinking water treatment systems altogether. “The problem is that the line between typical residential, commercial, industrial and small public water systems has blurred in many cases,” says Water Quality Association (WQA) technical director Joseph Harrison.

Harrison says numerous POE drinking water treatment systems are installed in semi-public water systems such as restaurants, hotels, schools, commercial, institutional and small public water system applications. Because plumbing codes specifically call for certification to Standard 61, and 61 did not cover POE equipment, manufacturers of components such as media and ion-exchange resins, tanks, control valves, fittings, connectors, o-rings and even some whole drinking water treatment unit systems have routinely had to have these products tested and certified twice for materials safety, to both NSF/ANSI 61 and 44.

Back in August, NSF International announced that NSF/ANSI 61 was changed to cover point-of-entry drinking water systems. Further, NSF/ANSI 44 and the materials safety sections of all the other drinking water treatment unit standards will be changed to reference compliance for POE systems under NSF/ANSI 61. “The biggest benefit,” says Thomas Palkon, director of product certification for WQA, “is that now commercial, industrial, municipal and residential drinking water treatment units can all be tested under one standard for materials safety. This will prevent confusion, eliminate double testing, and save manufacturers from having to test and pay for multiple certification fees for the same materials standard.”

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Hero Requests Assistance

Dear Editor,

Thank you for covering our industry in such an excellent manner. I am a longtime subscriber to your publication and appreciate your tremendous attention to the vital issues facing professional drillers. I am writing in hope of receiving advice from others in the industry. I was recently involved in a tragic accident that destroyed my drill rig.

Editor’s note: A car with six passengers crossed a grassy median, hurtled into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with Shrouds’ drill rig, killing all six in the car. Driving the rig was Bill Sanderlin, who suffered a head injury in the crash. The rig suddenly caught fire, and Shourds was able to evacuate Sanderlin from the vehicle. Shourds and another man were able to pull a young boy from the car wreckage before it, too, became engulfed in fire. The boy later died.

This accident, while no fault of my own, has completely disabled my business. I am finding it difficult to work through the red tape to replace my drill rig and get back to work. I am hoping your readers might be able to provide guidance on how I can proceed. I need to get the rig replaced as soon as possible and get back to work.


Ray Shourds
EnviroDrill Inc.
Suffolk, Va.

Reader Learned Life Lessons

Dear Jim Olsztynski,

I’ve never responded to an article before but felt I needed to comment on your July article, “The Real Meaning of Teamwork.” You sound as if your experience growing up was negative. Football is an allegory to both life and the battles that come up during your lifetime. It teaches you how to handle them and persevere through the face of adversity. If you grow up and are never challenged, your chance of overcoming obstacles becomes harder. I believe you’re taking professional sports, which is les than 0.003 percent of the group, and painting a picture of a flawed system. I believe that being tempered as a youth makes life a great experience – even through tough times. I know from being a driller that the years on the gridiron helped me get through many challenging jobs. The coaches that you perceive as evil are the same ones who others say, “thanks,” to years later for helping to build one’s work ethic. One last cliché from Vince Lombardi: “The quality of peoples’ lives is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

Best regards,

Matthew Bovenzi
Geosearch Inc.
Fitchburg, Mass.

It's Best to Get It in Writing

Dear Greg Ettling,

I really enjoyed your article, “Pricing in the Water Well Industry” (August issue interview with G.P. Fiberglass’ Dale Klassen). You mentioned contracts for drilling residential wells – could you please forward a copy of a contract for drilling or maybe you know where I could find a sample of one. What we have come across lately are unhappy customers due to the mess created by the tailings or ruts from the trucks. Even though we explain upfront that their lawn will never be the same after we leave, we end up in trouble because we never had anything signed or written to cover us.


Fred Glass
Stauber Drilling Inc.
Regina, Saskatchewan