Editorial

How Water Treatment’s Alphabet Soup Impacts Facility Operations and Capital Spending

By Mike Henley

ASTM COOLING WATER EP EPA EPRI JP LIFE SCIENCES MEMBRANES PHARMACEUTICALS POWER REGULATIONS REVERSE OSMOSIS SEMI STANDARDS USP WFI

Abstract

ASME, ASTM, ChP, EP, EPRI, EPA, FDA, IP, IRDS, JP, SEMI, USP, WHO…. At first glance, this partial list of letter groupings could be mistaken for what a Scrabble player might face when playing the well-known board game.

In the water world, these letter groups stand for abbreviations of governmental and private organizations whose work touches water treatment. One could also make a separate list of abbreviations for laws and regulations impacting water.

For now, we will confine our discussion to how the actions by these organizations impact choices in water system operations and capital spending—particularly within regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals and power. In other industries, most notably semiconductors, technology advancements play a bigger influence in driving water system upgrades.

We will briefly examine the roles these governmental and private organizations have in today’s industrial and high-purity water worlds.

Regulatory Realm

One side of our “alphabet soup” involves governmental agencies, of which there are many at the national, regional, and local levels in the United States and elsewhere that touch water treatment. For brevity, we will examine how two agencies—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — influence water treatment...

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