ZENON to provide safe drinking water for up to 350,000 tsunami victims

Canadian company teams with largest water company in India and World Vision to send 54 water treatment systems to South Asia tsunami relief efforts. In addition, the commitment from GE, whose business units include GE Infrastructure, rises to over $10 million including $2.4 million donated by employees that will be matched by the GE Foundation. Other reported contributions come from ITT Industries, Siemens/USFilter, Trojan Technologies, WaterChef and Air Water Corp...

OAKVILLE, ON, Canada, Jan. 6, 2005 (Staff & Wire Reports) -- Zenon Environmental is spearheading the drive to send its Homespring units to provide clean, safe water to victims of the disaster in India and Sri Lanka.

In a combined initiative through the assistance of Eureka Forbes, a pioneer and leader in water purification systems in India, and World Vision, an international relief and development organization and its partners on the ground, Zenon will initially donate 54 of its Homespring water filtration units to support relief efforts in Asia.

Zenon's Homespring units will be installed in Sri Lanka and India where there is a high and critical need for clean and safe water. These include relief camps, schools and other community locations. Eureka Forbes has taken on the responsibility of servicing and maintaining the units to ensure continued safe drinking water to people in the area. Eureka Forbes is a marketer of the Aquaguard Water Purifier in India with one of the widest sales and service networks across the country.

World Vision will provide its expertise in identifying those areas most in need as well as coordinate the logistics of transporting the units on the ground. For those units that are installed in temporary relief camps, these will be moved to other areas where there is a continued need, such as schools, old age homes, etc. and will not be sold commercially.

The Homespring product is the first whole home water filtration system launched by Zenon's Consumer Product Division. With Zenon's ZeeWeed ultrafiltration membranes at the core of the product, the patented, self-contained Homespring system makes water biologically safe for consumption, without chemicals, by physically removing suspended solids, viruses, parasites and bacteria from the water.

Clean water is critical to the victims' survival at this point. According to the World Health Organization, the average physically active adult consumes about four liters (one gallon) of water per day. As each Homespring water filtration unit can potentially produce up to 27,000 liters of water per day (7,000 gallons) depending on water quality, the 54 units being provided by Zenon are capable of providing safe drinking water to over 350,000 people.

"We are committed to helping find water treatment solutions to the relief efforts in the region," said Andrew Benedek, chairman and CEO of Zenon. "Our participation in this initiative reinforces our positioning to solve real world problems and, as our logo says, provide Water for the World."

"Providing water is an integral part of World Vision's relief efforts," said Marilyn Friedmann, vice president of Donor Development at World Vision Canada. "This partnership with Zenon supports more than World Vision's relief effort, it supports reconstruction and will allow us to make significant inroads with the rehabilitation of municipal water supplies."

In addition to Zenon's efforts with the Homespring water filtration systems, the company's larger water purification systems, which the Canadian Army have trusted for years, will be deployed by Canada's Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART). Zenon continues to seek out initiatives to further assist tsunami and earthquake victims in Asia.

World Vision is an international Christian relief and development organization working in more than 90 countries around the world, providing help to more than 85 million people each year.

About Zenon
Zenon Environmental (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, Zenon was ranked for the second time as Canada's top Corporate Citizen by Corporate Knights, a business publication addressing corporate responsibility. Zenon has also been selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for the fifth consecutive year.

For more information on India's Eureka Forbes, see: www.eurekaforbes.com.

Other water industry commitments
Another Canadian company, Trojan Technologies, of London, Ontario, also committed to sending product to the region -- although because of the nature of ultraviolet disinfection equipment, it may wait until later when more basic infrastructure is in place and it's more useful.

"We've been in touch with a number of nonprofit organizations," said Martha Nelson, Trojan vice president of marketing and corporate communications, "and don't want to send equipment there just to have it sit there and not get used or just be in the way. But we've been very active working behind the scenes to provide some support."

She noted Trojan's corporate parent, Danaher also has contributed to the Red Cross and is committing other of its companies such as water testing and analytical instrumentation maker Hach Company, of Loveland, Colo., to provide additional equipment toward the relief effort.

In addition, working through Oxfam and Red Cross/Red Crescent, ITT Industries -- with a variety of pump and water treatment equipment companies in its Fluid Technology unit -- is preparing 60 portable ST1 water treatment systems for delivery to the disaster area. Combined, they're capable of treating more than 100,000 gallons of water per hour. The units are diesel powered -- enabling them to operate in many areas without electricity -- and simple to operate and maintain, as well as providing the level of treatment necessary to combat waterborne diseases such as cholera and giardiasis. ITT also has mobilized staff at its companies in the region to provide their expertise and is donating $500,000 toward the general relief effort.

Also, 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]. USFilter's Karole Colangelo said, working with Siemens in Thailand, the company will be providing seven membrane water treatment systems to affected areas in Asia.

Similarly, General Electric, whose divisions include GE Infrastructure and its Water & Process Technologies business unit, has enlisted its staff and made product commitments. "The GE family has pledged more than $10 million in cash, products and services to the relief efforts following the earthquake and tsunami in South Asia," read a statement at the corporate website. "This includes an overwhelming outpouring from employees, who as of Jan. 6 have donated nearly $2.4 million, every dollar of which will be matched by the GE Foundation." Previously, the foundation also pledged $1 million toward the Red Cross and $100,000 to UNICEF.

Smaller firms WaterChef Inc. and Air Water Corp. were donating equipment as well -- respectively, two PureSafe water treatment stations that treat up to 15,000 gallons a day and 20 AirWater Machines that extract water from humidity in the air. The WaterChef units were purchased by an Indian family living in New York for relief efforts. Air Water president Michael J. Zwebner also donated $25,000.

The American Water Works Association was pointing donors toward Water For People (WFP). Although it does work for improved water quality in Asia, Africa and Latin America through its programs, WFP, a Denver-based independent organization initially affiliated with the AWWA and supported by various organizations and companies in the water industry, pointed out that it's not an emergency relief organization. Instead, WFP agreed to serve as a liaison between the North American water industry and international relief organizations. In addition, it's currently accepting donations for long-term water and sanitation development projects in the 13 affected countries. For more information, call 800-926-7337 or visit its website: www.waterforpeople.org.

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

You can specify to direct your donations to South Asia 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.

For other reports on this topic, see: Tsunami Disaster Relief

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The above article was culled from items posted to PRNewswire, BusinessWire, MarketWire as well as personal interviews and various other sources.

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