WQA eNews
March 31, 2016
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  1. 2016 WQA Convention & Exposition: Hitting the High Notes in Music City
  2. South Texas Business Leader Named President of WQA
  3. Changes Announced to WQA Board
  4. WQA Launches Career Center for the Drinking Water Treatment Industry
  5. Accelerated Professional Certification Paths Reward Experienced Personnel
  6. Report Released from Nationwide Study of Boil Water Notices
  7. WQA Unveils Crisis-Communication Plan and Informational Resources
  8. Certified Service Technician Designation Now Available
  9. New WQA Members and Certification Projects

ConventionStory2016 WQA Convention & Exposition: Hitting the High Notes in Music City
Industry professionals learn, mingle & do business  
Water treatment professionals gather at the beautiful Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee
More than 2,600 visitors from 38 different countries gathered in Nashville, Tennessee, March 14-17, for the 2016 WQA Convention & Exposition organized by the Water Quality Association (WQA). Highlights included an energetic and interactive keynote address by best-selling author Chester Elton, a special education session about the Drinking Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan, and a panel discussion on emerging technologies in water softening. Attendees also took advantage of diverse opportunities to gain technical knowledge, network with their peers, learn about WQA’s programs and services, check out new water treatment products, and gain valuable business leads.
Awards Given for Contributions to the Industry
2016 WQA Hall of Fame inductee Darwin Watts  addresses the Opening General Session audience
WQA bestowed Leadership Awards to ten individuals during the Convention’s Opening General Session on March 15. The Hall of Fame Award, given for lifetime dedication and service to the water quality improvement industry, was presented to Darwin Watts, MWS, from SEAS Capital Partners in Plymouth, Michigan. The Lifetime Membership Award, given for exemplary service to the Water Quality Association, was presented to Michael Mecca from Performance Water Products in Buena Park, California. The Key Award, for demonstrating the highest qualities of leadership, was presented to Scott Clawson of Culligan International Company in Rosemont, Illinois. The Ray Cross Award, given in recognition of a pioneer spirit and unwavering commitment to the industry, was awarded to Gregory Reyneke, MWS, of Red Fox Advisors in Beaverton, Oregon. Regents Award, given in recognition of significant contributions at the state or local level on issues affecting the industry, were presented to Jeffrey B. Hill, MWS, of Robert B. Hill Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Larry Casey of Aqua Science in Wyoming, Rhode Island. Awards of Merit, given in recognition of exceptional service to the water quality improvement industry, were presented to Michael O. Hanson, MWS, of Sterling Water, Inc. dba Culligan of West Central WI in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Michael Schaefer, PE, MWS, of Culligan Soft Water Service Co. in Herculaneum, Missouri. The International Award of Merit went to Guy De Mol of Pentair Water Quality Systems in Paris, France. The Honorary Membership Award, given in recognition of meritorious research, education or exemplary service, was presented to Michael Sennett from Jones Day in Chicago, Illinois.
Top Membership Recruiters Honored
Eight WQA members were recognized for their recruitment efforts during a special reception on March 14. The following individuals earned President’s Club status by recruiting three or more new members into the Association within a one-year period:
L to R: President’s Club honorees Alex Duffine, Michael J. Urbans,
Margaret A. Wichmann, Kurt C. Peterson, Gregory Reyneke,
Daina Grace, Douglas Haring and Nicole A. Residorfer
  • Alex Duffine of Duff Company (Norristown, Pennsylvania)
  • Daina Grace of the Texas Water Quality Association (Victoria, Texas)
  • Douglas Haring, MWS, CI, CSR of Clack Corporation (Windsor, Wisconsin)
  • Kurt C. Peterson of Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Nicole A. Reisdorfer of Allied Purchasing Company (Mason City, Iowa)
  • Greg Reyneke, MWS of Red Fox Advisors (Beaverton, Oregon)
  • Michael J. Urbans of Res-Kem General Water (Aston, Pennsylvania)
  • Margaret A. Wichmann (Lenox, Massachusetts)
Special recruitment awards were presented to four President’s Club members. Margaret A. Wichmann received the Golden Circle Award for recruiting fifty new members into WQA over the course of her lifetime, and Daina Grace received the Master Craftsman award for recruiting 20 members. And Alex Duffine and Greg Reyneke were granted Builder Awards in recognition of recruiting their third WQA member.
The top recruiting team for 2015-2016 consisted of Denise Heskett-Al-Kharusy, MWS, of KDF Fluid Treatment, Inc. (Three Rivers, Michigan), Shanna Bucki of Aqua Finance, Inc. (Wausau, Wisconsin), Alex Duffine, Buzz Goldstein, MWS, of Charger Water Treatment Products, LLC (Elgin, Illinois), Daina Grace, Cindy Gresham, CWS, of Thermax, Inc. (Houston, Texas), Kurt C. Peterson and Nicole A. Reisdorfer.
McGheeNamedPresidentSouth Texas Business Leader Named President of Water Quality Association
2016-17 WQA President
Donald K. McGhee
The Water Quality Association (WQA) named Donald K. McGhee of Harlingen, Texas, as its next president. Mr. McGhee, a master water specialist (MWS) and long-time WQA volunteer, will serve as the Association’s president through March 2017.
Don McGhee is the principal of Hydro Systems Inc., an industrial and commercial water treatment equipment and service provider in Harlingen, Texas. Established in 1978, Hydro Systems, Inc., serves a domestic and international client base, specializing in brackish water desalination, industrial water recycle and reuse and industrial water processing applications. He is also a managing partner at Turbidex®/Hydro Source LLC, a zeolite filtration media supplier with distribution around the world.
WQA’s 2015-2016 President
Bret P. Tangley (on left) passes
the gavel to incoming
president Donald K. McGhee
McGhee, who has a strong passion for water quality issues, also serves on WQA’s board of governors, the Texas Water Quality Association’s board of directors, and the Rio Grande and South Central Regional Water Planning Groups of the Texas Water Development Board. During his presidency, McGhee aspires to elevate WQA’s position as a resource to consumers affected by water quality crises such as Flint, Michigan.
“Here in the United States, water quality issues have been making big news as a result of the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan,” says McGhee, an 18-year-member of WQA.  “By promoting the use of water treatment products certified for the removal of lead and professionals trained to properly address water quality issues, we firmly believe the Water Quality Association can be of great assistance during this crisis and the impending future issues like Flint’s as our water distribution systems are challenged with stricter standards and an aging infrastructure.”
ChangesToBoardChanges Announced to WQA Board
A number of important changes to the Water Quality Association’s top volunteer leadership were implemented during the Association’s 2016 Convention & Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee. During the official business meeting on March 15, eight industry professionals were elected to three-year terms on WQA’s Board of Directors. Three of the eight — Michael R. Long, MWS, Jeffrey B. Hill, MWS, and Kelly Johnson, CWS — will be serving their first terms on the board. The entire slate of elected board members is as follows:
Director’s Name
Membership Class
Pete Chermak
Clack Corporation (Windsor, Wisconsin)
Toby Thomas
Kinetico Incorporated (Newbury, Ohio)
Chris Wilker
EcoWater Systems LLC (Woodbury, Minnesota)
Knut Sauerbier
Brita GmbH (Taunusstein, Germany)
Michael R. Long, MWS
ELKEN Sdn Bhd (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Jeffrey B. Hill, MWS
Robert B. Hill Co. (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Kelly Johnson, CWS
Quality Water Services (Ponca City, Oklahoma)
Michael Kinney, MWS
Portasoft of Morris County (Kenvil, New Jersey)
WQA’s 2015-2016 President Bret P. Tangley passed the gavel to incoming president Donald K. McGhee. Robert Maisner, Stephen Ver Strat, and Chris Wilker will assume the roles of vice-president, secretary, and treasurer, respectively. Sam Karge of Pentair Residential Filtration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, retired from WQA’s board of governors. Scott Clawson of Culligan International Company in Rosemont, Illinois, will join the board as a governor-at-large.
The WQA Board of Governors includes the following members:
Donald K. McGhee, MWS
Hydro Systems, Inc. (Harlingen, TX)
Robert Maisner
Paragon Water Systems (Tampa, FL)
Stephen Ver Strat
Access Business Group LLC (Ada, MI)
Chris Wilker
EcoWater Systems LLC (Woodbury, MN)
Immediate Past President
Bret P. Tangley, MWS
Sterling Water, Inc. dba Culligan of West Central WI (Eau Claire, WI)
Scott Clawson
Culligan International Company (Rosemont, IL)
Cindy Gresham, CWS
Thermax Inc. (Hedgesville, WV)
Tom Harrington
DS Services of America, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)
John Packard of the Culligan Soft Water Service Company in Minnetonka, Minnesota, also announced that he will be stepping down after 13 years as president of the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF).  Edward P. “Ned” Jones III of Gordon Brothers Inc. in Salem, Ohio, will succeed Packard as WQRF president.
CareerCenterWQA Launches Career Center for the Drinking Water Treatment Industry

Convention & Exposition attendees were the first to experience the Association’s newest offering, the WQA Career Center. This new member benefit offers employers with access to the brightest and best talent within and outside of the water treatment industry across all categories of employment.
“WQA is so pleased and proud to be able to offer our members and the water community access to a dedicated career center, specific to the industry,” remarks WQA Business Operations Director Susan Barkach.  “Our members have requested this benefit and WQA has listened.  We’re very excited to provide our members, customers and industry professionals with access to high-quality networking, recruitment and job seeking services.”
The Career Center also provides job seekers with professional development tools, networking opportunities and access to high-quality jobs with the most respected employers in our industry. From now through April 30, 2016, members and customers of WQA are eligible to receive a 50% discount on all job postings and packages. Please use promo code: EXPO.
If you would like assistance placing your jobs postings, please contact the Career Center Help Desk at888-491-8833, ext. 2584.
AcceleratedPathsAccelerated Professional Certification Paths Reward Experienced Personnel
WQA Professional Certification & Training has responded to feedback from the industry by unveiling new accelerated paths to professional certification. Experienced water treatment personnel can now earn professional designations in less time by enrolling in the Modular Education Program (MEP) and choosing to participate in the accelerated route. Successful completion of the Basics Assessment test is required for all accelerated paths.
Prospective users are asked to complete this short survey to see if they are eligible for an accelerated paths. Once eligibility if verified, the user must complete the recommendation form and return it to WQA with your accelerated paths enrollment form.
Additional details are available at wqa.org/MEP.
BWNStoryReport Released from Nationwide Study of Boil Water Notices

The Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) recently funded a study by the University of Arizona that compiled a comprehensive database of boil water notices (BWN) occurring in the 155,000 documented public water systems in the United States. The first study of its kind to track the cause or reason why a notice was issued.
The study concluded that the majority of BWNs were for suspected microbial contaminants due to leaks or breaks in a pipe or water main. The study also underscored the need for a standardized method of data collection on BWNs. The report concluded that the installation of POU or POE devices certified for microbiological reduction would provide protection against such contaminations. Steps for proper sanitization of various types water treatment equipment after a BWN event are available to WQA members through the Association’s online Knowledge Base.
WQA members may download the final report from the study by clicking here, and a brochure covering the highlights by clicking here.
CrisisCommunicationWQA Unveils Water-Crisis Communication Plan and Informational Resources
Water Quality Association staff recently introduced a plan developed to help the Association react more quickly and comprehensively when water contamination incidents make national news. The plan outlines procedures and timelines for monitoring national media and responding to contamination incidents. WQA’s Government Affairs Department is leading the crisis-response effort with support from the Marketing & Communications and Technical Affairs teams.
As part of this effort, a variety of informational resources and contaminant-specific fact sheets have been posted to the WQA website here. The fact sheets provide information regarding contaminants in the water supply, deteriorating infrastructure, water scarcity and flooding.
For more information on these informational resources, please contact Kathleen Fultz atkfultz@wqa.org.
CSTCertified Service Technician Designation Now Available

Water treatment professionals who specialize in the repair of water quality improvement products can now earn a Certified Service Technician (CST) designations from WQA. To earn the CST designation, candidates must complete the Service training curriculum in WQA’s Modular Education Program and pass the necessary examination. The Service training curriculum focuses on troubleshooting a treatment system based on its application, obtaining the necessary water tests for analyses, and correcting equipment problems.
Please visit www.wqa.org to enroll or learn more about WQA’s Professional Certification & Education Program. For more information, please email certification@wqa.org or call 630-505-0160.
NewMembersNew WQA Members and Product Certification Projects
The following nine companies recently joined WQA:
  • Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Benjamin Franklin Plumbing – Yorkville, Illinois
  • Camilo Environmental Group Inc. – Andover, Massachusetts
  • N.W. Poole Well and Pump Company – Wendell, North Carolina
  • PureLife Filters – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Redband Coffee Company – Davenport, Iowa
  • Robert E Holmes Inc dba Holmes Water Treatment – Wentzville, Missouri
  • Superior Water Works, Inc. – Okeechobee, Florida
  • Water Products & Solutions – Sheridan, Wyoming
The following 17 companies recently had new products certified by WQA:
  • 3M Purification (formerly CUNO) – St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Chung Ho Nais – Irvine, California
  • Culligan International – Rosemont, Illinois
  • Dryden Aqua – Edinburgh, Scotland
  • General Electric Appliances – Louisville, Kentucky
  • Hy Cite Corporation – Madison, Wisconsin
  • Jiangsu Linhai Resin Science & Technology Co., Ltd. – Jiangsu, China
  • KSB-Amri Inc. – Houston, Texas
  • LG Electronics – Seoul, South Korea
  • North American Dioxide – Lamar, Missouri
  • Purolite Company (The) – Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
  • Rojo, LLC – Portland, Oregon
  • The Dow Chemical Company – Midland, Michigan
  • Visini USA Inc. – West Covina, California
  • Water Remediation Technology, LLC – Arvada, Colorado
  • Watts Water Quality & Conditioning Products – Dunnellon, Florida
  • Woongjin Coway Co., Ltd. – Choongchungnam-Do, Republic of Korea
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