"Many municipally owned utilities find themselves in a tough spot as they sue major chemical manufacturers for allegedly fixing the price of an ingredient used for treating drinking water and wastewater.
Yet they can’t do without that ingredient.
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), which serves areas in Maryland just outside Washington, D.C., in October became the latest to file an antitrust lawsuit against at least half a dozen chemical manufacturers and their subsidiaries. The utility says it continues to use aluminum sulfate, or 'alum' as it is commonly known, because the chemical is 'essential' to its treatment operations, spokesman Charles Brown told Bloomberg Environment Oct. 31."