Zenon launches largest North American drinking water plant in Kamloops, B.C.

Zenon Environmental celebrated a significant milestone with the opening of a new water treatment plant in the city of Kamloops, British Columbia. The River Street Water Treatment Plant will provide the citizens and businesses of Kamloops with safe and clean drinking water. With a capacity of up to 160 million liters [42,267,526 U.S. gallons] per day or roughly enough water to fill 2,000 standard swimming pools, this water treatment facility is the largest of its kind in North America...

OAKVILLE, ON, Canada, Feb. 18, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -- Zenon Environmental celebrated a significant milestone with the opening of a new water treatment plant in the city of Kamloops, British Columbia. The River Street Water Treatment Plant will provide the citizens and businesses of Kamloops with safe and clean drinking water. With a capacity of up to 160 million liters [42,267,526 U.S. gallons] per day or roughly enough water to fill 2,000 standard swimming pools, this water treatment facility is the largest of its kind in North America.

Kamloops has a population of 80,000. The city lies at the confluence of the North and South Thompson rivers, 202 miles from Vancouver and 306 miles from Banff. It's is a major transportation hub on the Trans Canada Highway and Coquihalla Highway, with CN and CP Rail lines and a regional airport transporting visitors and residents throughout Canada and the Pacific Northwest. The region is the heart of British Columbia's ranching industry, with forestry and mining as other important industries.

When the levels of turbidity became so high that there was an increased opportunity for a breech in water quality, the city of Kamloops turned to membrane technology to address its water situation. With ultrafiltration membrane technology from Zenon, virtually all pathogens and other harmful microorganisms are removed from the water so all that's left behind is high quality treated water.

"After more than 10 years of work, the city of Kamloops is finally able to provide consistently high-quality drinking water to residents and visitors, 365 days per year," said Mayor Mel Rothenburger. "Healthy living is always at the forefront of our minds, and clean, safe drinking water is a basic right for all our citizens."

Membrane technology represents an improvement in the way drinking water is treated. With virtually no need for chemicals, the membrane technology at the River Street Water Treatment Plant is designed to remove 99% of viruses, bacteria, parasites and other contaminants from the South Thompson River water supply. This reduction in contaminants is substantially greater than conventional water-filtration methods.

Zenon's patented membrane technology consists of hollow strands of porous plastic fibres with billions of microscopic pores on their surface that block impurities. Water is drawn through the pores with the use of a slight suction, much like that required when sipping liquid through a straw. What remains is pure water. This unique vacuum process makes the technology affordable for large water facilities like Kamloops.

The new facility will be more than just a water treatment plant. In a significant partnership between Zenon Environmental, the city of Kamloops, and Thompson Rivers University, a water technology center will be created at the plant. The Kamloops Centre for Water Quality will provide on-site training and education for plant operators from the Kamloops region as well as for plant operators from around the world. Thompson Rivers University is currently creating a water treatment technology program where students will have the opportunity to utilize the center to gain practical experience with membrane technology. The facility will also provide the opportunity for ongoing research into the water conservation issue and improvements into water treatment technology.

"Water treatment technology is an emerging field. With this centre of excellence, students, plant operators and researchers from all over the world will be able to learn and benefit from Canadian expertise in this area," said Dr. Roger Barnsley, president of Thompson Rivers University.

Zenon (www.zenon.com) is a world leader in providing advanced membrane products and services for water purification, wastewater treatment and water reuse to municipalities and industries worldwide. In 2004, Corporate Knights, a business publication addressing corporate responsibility, ranked Zenon Environmental Canada's top Corporate Citizen. This is the second time that Zenon has been selected to lead as Canada's top Corporate Citizen. Zenon has also been selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for the fifth consecutive year.

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