Two U.S. water equipment makers joining SE Asian disaster relief effort

Jan. 4, 2005
Universal Communication Systems' subsidiary, Air Water Corp., responding to an emergency request, is sending 20 Air Water Machines to Sri Lanka for deployment in disaster areas struck by the Dec. 26 tsunami that followed an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia, leaving over 150,000 dead and millions stranded without clean water and sanitation. Also, WaterChef's PureSafe Water Station units to be used toward humanitarian relief in Southeast Asia thanks to Indian family living in New York...

GLEN HEAD, NY, & MIAMI, FL, Jan. 4, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Two U.S.-based companies -- WaterChef Inc. and Air Water Corp. -- specializing in potable water treatment equipment are sending units to Southeast Asia to assist in relief efforts of the millions left without clean water or sanitation following the deadly tsunamis that struck the region following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia on Dec. 26.

The worldwide response to the tragedy has been overwhelming, although getting equipment and supplies to affected areas as been a lumbering process because of the breadth of the disaster which was felt as far away as Somalia, where 100 people were killed by water from the towering wave. Hardest hit were Indonesia and Sri Lanka with three quarters of overall deaths. The total death toll may never be known, but official numbers were over 150,000 by this past weekend. Now, worry shifts to taking care of the survivors displaced by the tragedy, which the World Health Organization has said amount to 3-5 million people.

With over $2.5 billion pledged toward relief efforts, UN Secretary General focused comments on ensuring that those commitments are fulfilled. Meanwhile, the U.S. military began flying in supplies to specific areas and rescuing stranded groups of people, transferring them to makeshift field hospitals. Aside from injuries, they were suffering from hunger, dehydration and exposure to the elements.

It's believed the worldwide response will be the largest humanitarian effort in history.

Potable water stations
David A. Conway, president and CEO of WaterChef Inc. reported today that a prominent family from India, living in the New York area, has purchased two PureSafe Water Station units for the tsunami disaster relief effort in Southeast Asia. These units will be deployed to southern India to provide pure drinking water for disaster victims.

The company is also in discussions with others interested in making similar donations.

The PureSafe Water Station is a self-contained, six-stage water purification system that produces up to 15,000 gallons of clean, healthy water per day from any source. It destroys virtually all living pathogens and handles a broad range of organic and inorganic water contaminants, producing pure water for less than half a penny per gallon. In addition to the core version of the unit, WaterChef also markets versions of the PureSafe that provide up to 125,000 gallons per day, as well as systems for ocean water desalination, heavy metals removal and remediation of arsenic contaminated water.

WaterChef, Inc. ( is based in Glen Head, N.Y., and manufactures the PureSafe products in Bohemia, N.Y.

Water from the air
In addition, the president of Universal Communication Systems Inc. subsidiary Air Water Corp., Michael J. Zwebner announced today that following a personal telephone conversation with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in Colombo, and responding to an emergency request, the company will immediately ship 20 Air Water Machines to Sri Lanka for deployment in areas stricken by the recent Tsunami.

In a statement issued today Zwebner said: "The situation in certain areas of Sri Lanka is very critical. Many survivors of the recent disaster have not had clean drinking water for days, and the problem is not going away any time soon. Despite huge efforts by international aid organizations, basic drinking water is still lacking for hundreds of thousands of survivors. We intend to respond by assisting the Government of Sri Lanka, and will immediately ship out a range of different Air Water Machines for immediate deployment. Due to the local lack of energy supplies, and time being of the essence, we will also be purchasing and shipping out oil fired Generators to power our machines. In addition, the company is sourcing `water bottling machines,' and we intend to create a complete turnkey operation to bring drinkable water to as many people as possible."

He added, "A further important announcement will follow soon."

Air Water Corp. ( and its parent, Universal Communication Systems Inc. (, a publicly traded company, are based in Miami, Fla. Air Water was formed to operate the unique business of ''water extraction" from natural air, and to facilitate this technology for world markets. For more information, please contact us at the address and contact details provided.

Other commitments
Previously, the GE Foundation, affiliated with General Electric and its GE Infrastructure unit, pledged $1 million toward the SE Asia relief effort. In addition, Germany's Siemens, parent company of USFilter, said it would mobilize its companies in the region to assist as well as match employee contributions, for more than EUR1 million [US$1.35 million]. And Canadian companies Trojan Technologies and Zenon Environmental were sending equipment and/or funds to the region.

Emergency Relief Organizations
If you would care to assist in the humanitarian response to the disaster, feel free to contact the following:
-- UNICEF: or call 1-800-4UNICEF (86-4233).
-- American Red Cross: or 1-800-HELP-NOW (435-7669)
-- Americares: or call AmeriCares directly at 1-800-486-HELP (4357)
-- CARE: or 1-800-422-7385
-- Oxfam: or 1-800-77-OXFAM (69326)
-- Save the Children: or 1-800-728-3843
-- Doctors Without Borders:
-- The Network for Good:
-- Catholic Relief Services:
-- World Vision:

Although it does work for improved water quality in Asia, Africa and Latin America through its programs, Water For People, a Denver-based independent organization initially affiliated with the American Water Works Association and supported by various organizations and companies in the water industry, pointed out that it is not an emergency relief organization. Instead, it pointed people to another list of organizations found at the MSNBC website: Asia's Deadly Tsunami.

You can specify to direct your donations to South Asia Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Effort, but remember that a number of other areas of the world also may continue to need assistance as resources are redirected to this region.


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