After Katrina: ITT Industries offers funds, critical material to aid hurricane relief efforts

Equipment available to remove flood waters, provide safe drinking water, assist search and rescue. The company's Royce Technologies unit in East New Orleans, is likely to relocate temporarily. Meanwhile, the EPA and HHC have warned about contaminated floodwaters there, but have eased up on boil water alerts in surrounding parishes and other areas. A new $15 million pipe factory in Gulfport also has delayed an opening scheduled for later this month...

WHITE PLAINS, NY, Sept. 7, 2005 -- ITT Industries has pledged $250,000 to the Red Cross to fund immediate hurricane relief, and has made available fluid technology equipment for delivery to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, including dewatering pumps and reverse osmosis systems which could be vital to relief efforts. Additionally, the company has sent night vision equipment and personnel to assist in round-the-clock search and rescue efforts in the affected areas.

"ITT Industries is ready to offer our technical experience and equipment to provide emergency relief to the areas most impacted by Hurricane Katrina," said Steve Loranger, chairman, president and CEO of ITT Industries. "Removing the flood waters from New Orleans is a vital preliminary step to planning for recovery in that region. We're prepared right now, to provide our equipment and expertise as well as water treatment equipment, wherever and whenever it is needed."

ITT has installed as many as 70 large pumps in New Orleans over the years as part of the city's flood control system. Together, these pumps are capable of pumping up to 2 billion gallons an hour. To supplement these in the hurricane's aftermath, ITT has prepared a fleet of more than 100 large submersible pumps, routinely rented for dewatering projects, on standby to help remove the flood waters from New Orleans. Developed just prior to the "Great Midwest Flood of 1993," these engine-driven pumps can each remove 20,000 gallons of water per minute. The company has also readied numerous smaller units capable of pumping between 100 and 15,000 gallons of water per minute.

Additionally, ITT has prepared chlorination and UV disinfection equipment to help provide potable water to victims of Hurricane Katrina. This equipment can provide up to 250,000 gallons of water per day. The company provided similar systems to Iraq and following the tsunami in Sri Lanka to provide clean drinking water for thousands of people.

ITT night vision equipment and training personnel are already in Louisiana, enabling searches to continue around the clock. The company donated 22 night vision goggles to police agencies, and has offered training in mission applications. Further, ITT imagers are providing real time satellite imagery to rescue and relief operations.

In separate news, ITT Sanitaire's Royce Technologies unit, which is based in East New Orleans, has been shut down since the evacuation orders were given on Sunday before the hurricane hit. Harry Wilkinson, the unit's marketing director, said from Philadelphia, that Royce general manager Jim Dartez was safe in New Iberia, La., and had tried unsuccessfully to visit the facility by boat. Satellite pictures, though, showed the parking lot to be dry and no significant damage, he said, adding that ITT has made a commitment to have the operation up and running within a month, whether in New Orleans or at a temporary location offsite. It's more likely to be offsite due to a lack of power. "We know that the nearby NASA facility has told its employees that they'll likely not be returning until Sept. 26," Wilkinson said. "And the I-10 bridge doesn't exist anymore near where the facility is located." Meanwhile, Royce's 24 employees -- many of whom may have lost their homes -- are being asked to check in via the company website: www.roycetechnologies.com, if they haven't already.

ITT Industries, Inc. (www.itt.com) supplies advanced technology products and services in key markets including: fluid and water management including water treatment; defense communication, opto-electronics, information technology and services; electronic interconnects and switches; and other specialty products. Based in White Plains, N.Y., the company generated $6.8 billion in 2004 sales.

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

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

EPA: Floodwaters dangerously contaminated -- WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 7, 2005 (Houston Chronicle) -- Floodwaters in New Orleans contain bacteria associated with sewage that are at least 10 times higher than acceptable safety levels, making direct contact by rescue workers and remaining residents dangerous, the first government tests confirmed today. Also found in the first round of testing were elevated lead levels, a risk if people, particularly children, were to drink the water. Residents have been told since Hurricane Katrina to avoid drinking the water...

Drying out: Wastewater experts work to establish basic services in New Orleans -- NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 7, 2005 (Brown & Caldwell) -- Nothing may ever be normal again in New Orleans, but Water News reader Larry Landry is among wastewater experts in Louisiana determined to help the city gain a new lease on life. The task ahead is huge and no quick fix is on the horizon: Floodwaters, spiked with tons of contaminants, will linger for years in the Gulf. The flooded city must be pumped dry and the drinking water system must be flushed. That alone will take months. Once the water is gone, officials will sample the soil and determine how safe it is for residents to come back. That survey will take about six months. In the meantime, Landry, superintendent of water treatment in the Department of Operational Services for the City of Shreveport, and his colleagues statewide are scrambling to provide facilities with whatever assistance they can...

Katrina delays opening of Future Pipe plant in Gulfport -- GULFPORT, MS, Sept. 7, 2005 (Sun-Herald) -- Future Pipe, owned by a Dubai-based conglomerate, over the past year has built a $15 million, 150,000-square-foot plant at Bernard Bayou Industrial Park. It will make fiberglass and thermoplastic pipe systems for the oil and gas and offshore industries and for water and sewer use. The company has been in a slow ramp-up of personnel, and prior to Hurricane Katrina had expected to have about 100 workers by the end of the year. It had scheduled a Sept. 27 ribbon cutting, and expected a host of dignitaries, including many from foreign lands. Just three days before Katrina made landfall, Turk walked this reporter through the new facility, showing off its custom-made, cutting-edge equipment used to make huge pipes. What had been a spotless, spanking new plant was turned into a water-logged facility still caked with mud Tuesday...

Ala. coastal cleanup focuses on fuel spills -- MOBILE, AL, Sept. 7, 2005 (Birmingham News) -- State and federal scientists are pulling fishing boats, 10,000-gallon gasoline tanks, 55-gallon barrels and other leaking, polluting vessels from the Gulf waters off Alabama, officials said this week. So far, no fish kills or dead birds as a result of Hurrican Katrina have been observed, but it's impossible to estimate how much gasoline, diesel fuel and oil may be mingling in the water, said Steve Jenkins, chief of field operations for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. At least 70 fishing boats and other craft are known to be sunk or capsized off Bayou La Batre, Jenkins said...

Some N.O. area water said safe -- NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 7, 2005 (Times-Picayune) -- Some people in five parishes surrounding New Orleans no longer have to disinfect their water because the bacteria level is no longer unsafe, the state health department announced today...

Hattiesburg water cleared to drink -- HATTIESBURG, MS, Sept. 6, 2005 (Hattiesburg-American) -- There's no more need to watch the pot boil. The state Department of Health around 2 p.m. today declared Hattiesburg's water free of chloroform bacteria and granted approval for the city to lift the boil water restriction in place since Hurricane Katrina tore through the Pine Belt on Aug. 29...

EPA, HHS Urge Caution in Areas Exposed to Contaminated Flood Water -- WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 6, 2005 (U.S. Newswire) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are cautioning the public and all responders about the potential hazards associated with flood waters. Every effort should be made to limit contact with flood water due to potentially elevated levels of contamination associated with raw sewage and other hazardous substances. For more information go to: www.epa.gov/katrina...

Anheuser-Busch Dedicates Two Plants to Providing Water for Hurricane Victims -- HOUSTON, TX, Sept. 6, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Anheuser-Busch Companies are converting operations at its Houston and Cartersville, Ga. breweries to produce canned water for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Anheuser-Busch has already begun shipping the water and says it will be increasing its donation of fresh drinking water to nearly 2.5 million cans per week to Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana...

Hurricane Katrina affected 1,223 water systems - EPA -- WASHINGTON, Sept 5, 2005 (Reuters) -- Some 1,223 drinking water systems in three states have been affected by Hurricane Katrina, and some systems need more fuel to run generators to stay operating, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday. The agency has issued boil-water notices to many of the systems. Louisiana has 683 drinking water systems affected, with 468 in Mississippi and 72 in Alabama, according to the EPA...

Hurricane Katrina Floods the Southeastern United States -- BILOXI, MS, Sept. 2, 2005 (NASA Earth Observatory) -- Biloxi, Miss., was one of the communities hardest hit when Hurricane Katrina came ashore on Aug. 29. Large sections of this seaside city were almost entirely flattened in the storm's powerful surge. The top QuickBird image (see photo at top of page), taken on Aug. 31, shows extensive damage in the blocks nearest the shore. Within two city blocks, two floating casinos -- the Island of Capri Casino and the Grand Casino Biloxi -- have disappeared. The Island of Capri Casino has been carried inland and now sits in the parking lot that was across the street. It is one of the few buildings that retains its structure. All of the houses in the region are gone, replaced by a broad field of debris. In the large image, the Biloxi Ocean Springs Bridge has been washed away, leaving only the pylons that once supported it...

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For an earlier hurricane relief report, see: After Katrina: Water professionals respond with volunteer expertise, equipment, supplies (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, 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. See more headlines of efforts to respond to the disaster...

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