After Katrina: Water professionals respond with volunteer expertise, equipment, supplies

Amid revelations of an impending toxic stew of chemicals, sewage, etc., to be cleaned up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the American Water Works Association's 57,000 members have mobilized to aid victims by offering professional expertise and personnel and by donating water-related equipment, supplies and other resources throughout affected areas in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama...

DENVER, Sept. 6, 2005 -- Amid revelations of an impending toxic stew of chemicals, sewage, etc., to be cleaned up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the threat of disease, the American Water Works Association's 57,000 members have mobilized to aid victims by offering professional expertise and personnel and by donating water-related equipment, supplies and other resources throughout affected areas in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

A Mexican army convoy with water treatment and relief supplies was even headed for the region in a show of support from south of the border. And a number of other countries offered aid as well, although a FEMA review process was said to be slowing its arrival.

Still, with New Orleans levees now repaired and pumping begun to empty floodwaters from the city, AWWA is asking its member utilities, manufacturers, consultants and individuals to place offers of assistance into an online federal database that relief workers will use to match resources with needs. The National Emergency Resource Registry (NERR), at www.seern.gov, includes specific categories for the services and materials that AWWA's vast membership can provide. Monetary donations may be directed to a number of relief agencies, many of which are listed at www.fema.gov/press/2005/katrinadonations.shtm.

AWWA officials met this week by phone with coordinators from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, the affected states and other water organizations to determine the best way to marshal the resources and expertise of the water community. Relief coordinators asked that offers to help be collected in the central database.

"The outpouring of support for hurricane victims from AWWA members and sections has been remarkable," said AWWA President Andy Richardson. "From the moment the scope of the damage became apparent, AWWA's phones and email boxes have been inundated with offers of material, financial and professional support."

After registering on the NERR site, water industry individuals or organizations should select the water/wastewater category and the subcategory that relates to the type of assistance being offered. A "Help" link is available on the site for questions.

AWWA's Hurricane Help Center is available at www.awwa.org. AWWA is one of the most authoritative resources for knowledge, information and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond. It's the largest organization of water professionals in the world. It advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the water community.

To contribute directly through the American Red Cross and for the latest news on Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, see: www.redcross.org/news/.

***

While a host of headlines are available on this topic, here are a few more relevant to the water and wastewater treatment industry. Feel free to click through to read the full story:

New Orleans Mayor Warns Death Toll May Hit 10,000; 14 Organizations You Can Partner With to Help Survivors of Hurricane Katrina -- NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 6, 2005 -- On Sept. 5, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin offered one of the direst warnings yet heard in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, predicting the discovery of as many as 10,000 dead as the waters recede on the submerged city. A week after the storm, one of the worst in U.S. history, engineers finally repaired a levee break that had caused the flooding, and the waters began to recede from the largely abandoned New Orleans. But conditions continued to deteriorate as bodies lay unattended in the street and looters continued targeting abandoned homes and businesses. Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff predicted that over the next days and weeks the area of devastation "is going to be about as ugly a scene as I think you can imagine."...

Ecoloclean Industries Offers EC Units to Provide Potable Water for Hurricane Victims -- CRYSTAL CITY, Texas, Sept. 6, 2005 -- Ecoloclean Industries Inc. has been in constant contact with the officials from the State and Government Offices for the State of Louisiana and Mississippi to provide potable drinking water by utilizing its electrocoagulation units to the populace of New Orleans and surrounding cities and areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Ecoloclean expects to receive notification within the next few days that it will be permitted to install EC units at strategically designated locations. In conjunction with its wholly owned subsidiary, World Environmental Technologies Inc., the company currently has three mobile EC units available that can provide a minimum of 300,000 gallons of potable water daily to assist in satisfying some of the demand for clean potable water in the Hurricane ravaged areas...

American Water Star Inc. Continues Shipping Water for Katrina Victims -- LAS VEGAS, Sept. 6, 2005 -- American Water Star Inc. is proud to inform our valued shareholders that our contract from Lipsey Mountain Spring Water Co., the sole provider of disaster relief water for FEMA (www.femawaternetwork.com), has moved our initial ship date to immediate due to the disastrous Hurricane Katrina. We started shipping on Aug. 30 and will continue until our contract is fulfilled. Lipsey has asked that AMW provide 100% of our water production capabilities from all four plants located in Phoenix, Jacksonville, Magnolia and Kentwood. Estimated production capabilities are 125 truckloads of water per day, seven days per week...

American Water Star Inc. Supplies Millions of Pouches to FEMA -- LAS VEGAS, Sept. 6, 2005 -- American Water Star Inc., is proud to announce that its subsidiary, New Age Packaging Inc., has begun producing and shipping nearly one million 8-ounce water/ice pouches per day to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the recent hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast. The AMW Bag Pax is particularly unique in that in addition to holding 8 oz. of purified drinking water, the Bag Pax has the added feature of remaining frozen for as long as 24 hours providing an added advantage over blocked or crushed ice which is in extreme short supply. If allowed to melt it reverts to its original water state...

Global Relief Technologies and Telenor Satellite Services To Support U.S. Marines and FEMA -- OSLO, Norway, ROCKVILLE, MD, & PORTSMOUTH, NH, Sept. 6, 2005 -- Global Relief Technologies (GRT) and Telenor Satellite Services have joined forces to provide rapid data management collection capabilities and mobile satellite communications to elements of the 2nd U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that are currently assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina. The equipment and satellite communications service provide the Marines and FEMA responders the ability to immediately collect and transmit critical data with exact GPS coordinates using ruggedized personal data assistants (PDAs) and laptop-sized satellite terminals to the GRT Virtual Network Operation Center (VNOC). The reports are then immediately forwarded to rescue and response command operations centers...

Coca-Cola System Donates $5 Million, Hundreds of Thousands of Cases of Water, Beverages for Hurricane Aid -- ATLANTA, Sept. 3, 2005 -- The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Bottlers across the U.S. through the Coca-Cola Bottlers Association are donating $5 million to support the relief and rescue efforts in communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The money will be divided among the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Coca-Cola System Hurricane Katrina Employee Relief Fund, which will assist displaced system employees. In addition to the $5 million donation, the Company and its bottlers have plants running continually to produce water and other beverages for donation to the relief efforts across the South. Water and product donations to date total hundreds of thousands of cases...

AirTran Airways Teams Up With Peyton and Eli Manning to Fly Much-Needed Water, Food and Supplies to Louisiana -- ORLANDO, FL, Sept. 3, 2005 -- AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings Inc. has teamed up with quarterbacks and brothers Peyton and Eli Manning -- both New Orleans natives -- to fly water, food and much-needed supplies to Louisiana to be distributed by the Red Cross for the victims of Hurricane Katrina...

Cytec Update on Gulf Coast Plant Operations After Hurricane Katrina -- WEST PATERSON, NJ, Sept. 2, 2005 -- Cytec Industries Inc. is in the process of recovery operations at two manufacturing facilities that were impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The Building Block Chemicals' Fortier plant outside of New Orleans is currently shut down and the Cytec Performance Specialties facility in Mobile, Alabama, is expected to be operational this weekend...

GE to Donate Additional $15 Million to Disaster Relief; Total support exceeds $18 million -- FAIRFIELD, CT, Sept. 2, 2005 -- General Electric today is donating an additional $5 million in cash and $10 million in equipment and services to Hurricane Katrina disaster relief:
-- An additional $5 million to the American Red Cross. Earlier this week, GE donated $1 million to the Red Cross. In addition, GE employees have donated $1 million, which the GE Fund will match. That brings the total cash donations from GE and its employees to the Red Cross to $8 million.
-- At least $10 million in medical devices, power generation equipment, water purification and other goods and services as identified by federal relief authorities...

Pentair Supporting Hurricane Disaster Relief Efforts Through Pump and Filtration Equipment, Technical Expertise, and Monetary Aid -- GOLDEN VALLEY, MN, Sept. 2, 2005 -- Water pump and filtration equipment manufacturer Pentair Inc. reported it has established pump and filtration task forces to aid emergency response organizations helping Gulf Coast areas cope with the devastation and chaos caused by Hurricane Katrina. The Pentair task forces are making pump and filtration equipment available to FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and emergency response organizations including the Louisiana State Emergency Management Agency. Priority services related to pump engineering and application support, in the form of engineers and service specialists, are also being provided through this company task force...

In related news, see: "Water Missions International and Pentair Inc. Partner to Supply Safe Water to Hurricane Victims"

Clorox Donating Bleach to Red Cross -- OAKLAND, CA, Sept. 2, 2005 -- The Clorox Company has pledged to donate emergency supplies of bleach to the American Red Cross as thousands of volunteers and medical disaster teams cope with the dangerous, unsanitary conditions left by floodwaters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Clorox is transporting an initial 12 truckloads (50,000 gallons of bleach) to staging warehouses in Baton Rouge, La. and Jackson, Miss., to be ready to move it to hard-hit areas throughout the Gulf region as floodwaters stabilize and recovery efforts commence...

UPS Trucks Haul Bottled Water From Chicago to Hurricane Katrina Evacuees -- Sept. 2, 2005 -- UPS, in addition to donating an initial $1,250,000 toward Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, is sending several tractor-trailers from the Chicago area loaded with much-needed bottled water to evacuees in Mississippi...

***

For an earlier hurricane relief report, see: After Katrina: Damage estimate bumped to $100B, hurricane relief efforts escalate (Sept. 2, 2005) -- Risk Management Solutions quadrupled last Monday's estimate of damage costs to $100 billion, based largely not on the hurricane but flooding after the Aug. 29 event -- particularly in New Orleans, where authorities ordered the city abandoned. Still, tens of thousands of people -- largely the least economically able -- were said to be left in the city as of Thursday, with thousands of evacuees being taken to San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. See more headlines of efforts to get clean water to victims...

###

More in Environmental