World Wide News America

After successfully completing the design and construction of Cle Elum, Washington's regional 3.6 million-gallon-per-day wastewater plant, Veolia Water North America -- West LLC (Veolia Water) won unanimous city council approval to operate the new facility for 10 years.

Veolia Water wins WWTP operations contract

After successfully completing the design and construction of Cle Elum, Washington's regional 3.6 million-gallon-per-day wastewater plant, Veolia Water North America -- West LLC (Veolia Water) won unanimous city council approval to operate the new facility for 10 years. As part of the US$ 4.6 million contract, Veolia Water will start up the new facility later this year, transition operations from the existing wastewater plant to the new facility, and provide operations and maintenance of the new asset. In September 2003, Veolia Water won a US$ 14 million contract to design and build the new regional wastewater plant. The company completed construction ahead of schedule and on budget while maintaining an exemplary safety record over the 18-month construction period by working more than 40,000 hours without a single lost-time accident. The new regional plant supports the needs of the surrounding communities of Cle Elum, South Cle Elum and Roslyn, including Suncadia, a 6,000-acre resort community on the Cle Elum River. "The successful partnership we shared with Cle Elum designing and building the new facility while operating the city's existing facility clearly paved the way for this longer term agreement," said President Chibby Alloway of Veolia Water North America -- West LLC. "While our contract was not structured as a design-build-operate agreement, Cle Elum's value-based selection clearly demonstrates the benefits of having one contractor oversee the entire process to create better synergy, improved delivery of service and overall cost efficiencies."

Latin economy heats up

The Inter-American Development Bank's Chief Economist Guillermo Calvo predicts the economic growth rate of Latin America and the Caribbean in 2005 will reach 4.6%, and the region's stock markets, employment rates and investments will rise. He attributes this economic boom to the drop in international interest rates, US dollar depreciation, rising commodity prices for Latin American exorts, and increasing capital inflows. Investment in water and sanitation within the region is desperately needed. Only half of Peru's population of 28 million have running water and sewage facilities. More than one million Lima resident have no water service and must pay EUR 0.38 for a 100-litre water drum, while Sedapal, the state water company, charges EUR 0.36 for 1,000 litres, according to Abel Cruz, coordinator for the Peruvians Without Water Movement. More than Euro 2.3 billion annually are needed to improve water distribution and sanitation in Mexico, according to legislator Fernando Adame. He reports in BNamericas.com that 12 million residents are without access to potable water, while 99% of water basins suffer from contamination. Seventy percent of wastewater is untreated and then discharged into waterways and coastal areas.

Remediation wetland transforms refinery site into golf course

North American Wetland Engineering of Forest Lake (NAWE) received the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Grand Award for engineering excellence, specifically for its design of an engineered wetland to remediate a petroleum contaminated former BP refinery in Casper, Wyoming. One of seven national projects recognised by the ACEC, the innovative wetland treatment design paved the way for the site's transformation into an award-winning Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. The RETEC Group Inc. was the lead environmental firm on the project. NAWE is a pioneer in the development of engineered wetlands for wastewater treatment and remediation of contaminated sites, recognised worldwide for their work in environmental preservation and restoration. The Casper facility was one of the oldest and largest refineries in the West, operating from 1908 until 1991. An estimated 30 million gallons of oil leaked into the shallow aquifer adjacent to the North Platte River during this period. The site will take 50 to 100 years to clean up. The NAWE designed treatment system is integrated into the water features of an 18-hole golf course built on the former refinery site. By using new, "green" technology the old refinery has been transformed from a site that once seemed destined to remain an unused brownfield to a landmark helping to redefine the community. The innovative BP system is the largest remediation wetland in North America. The project also won the Seven Wonders Awards for Engineering Excellence from the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers.

US microfiltration markets growing rapidly

The nation's microfiltration markets are rapidly growing with the continuous expansion and rising product sophistication in key end-user industries, such as biopharmaceutical, water and wastewater treatment, and other industrial applications. News analysis from Frost & Sullivan (www.environment.frost.com) reveals that revenue in this market totalled US$ 791.8 million in 2004 and projects to reach US$ 1,302.7 million in 2011. Trends that are driving this growth include: improvements in membrane technology and pricing; increasing use of microfiltration for secondary effluent polishing; heightened public awareness of drinking water quality; and aversion to chemical water treatment that is stimulating sales of membrane water treatment equipment.

Field Notes:

USA: The US Navy awarded contracts to Koch Membrane Systems, Inc. (KMS) to supply engineering design services and Targa(r)-10 hollow fibre ultrafiltration (UF) membranes for tactical water purification systems. The Office of Naval Research (ONR), Expeditionary Warfare Operations Technology Division, awarded contracts to MTC Technologies and Village Marine Tec., Military Division, in Gardena, California, to supply two tactical water purification systems designated the Expeditionary Unit Water Purifier (EUWP). These water purification systems can be airlifted using a C-130 transport plane to provide potable water for reconstruction, humanitarian aid and disaster relief. EUWP's design capacity is 100,000 gallons per day of potable water when treating feed water from a variety of sources including turbid or saline water, and feed water that has nuclear, biological or chemical contamination. Targa-10 hollow fibre ultrafiltration (UF) membranes are used in the EUWP as pretreatment to spiral reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. These membranes are used to produce potable water with limited space and weight requirements, and low chemical consumption and waste generation.

USA: Two US companies, Source Sentinel LLC and Inficon, formed an alliance to jointly market and sell Source Sentinel's Intelligent Water Management Systems, which include the Inficon Hapsite Chemical Identification System, to drinking water source, treatment, and distribution facilities and system operators. Source Sentinel develops near real-time detection, alert and response systems to protect drinking water supplies from chemical and biological threats, and Inficon is a leader in advanced instrumentation designed for fast, on-site detection of chemical contamination and warfare agents. These systems provide information necessary for corrective action and predictive models for optimising cost-effective delivery of high quality water. On 8 June 2005, Congressional James T. Walsh (NY) announced that he had placed a second year of US Dept. of Defence funding for Source Sentinel's research, development and commercialisation into the House Appropriations Committee-Defence bill totalling US $1.8 million. Last year, the congressman secured US$ 1.2 million in funding for Source Sentinel. For more information, visit the website: www.sourcesentinel.com.

USA: Water utilities need to invest an estimated US$ 277 billion over the next 20 years to continue to ensure safe drinking water, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency's third Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. This need reflects the challenges confronting water utilities as they deal with aging infrastructure that were constructed 50 to 100 years ago in many cases. US water utilities pay for infrastructure using revenue from rates charged to customers and may finance large projects using loans or bonds. State and federal funding programs, such as the EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, are also available to help companies address water system infrastructure needs. Results from the Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment are used to develop a formula to distribute Drinking Water State Revolving Fund grants. Since the program began in 1997, EPA has made available nearly $8 billion in funding to states for infrastructure projects to help utilities provide safe drinking water. States supplement their EPA grants by matching funds and with bonds, repayments and interest earnings.

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