Wastewater expert from Vietnam visits NAWE

Vietnamese civil engineer and educator speaks at NGWA and WEF events, and makes stop at Minnesota wetlands specialist to learn about wastewater treatment, water supply and sanitation...

WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN, Sept. 19, 2005 -- Expanding the knowledge of the developing nation of Vietnam in the areas of water and wastewater treatment technology was the focus of a recent visit to the United States by Dr. Viet Anh Nguyen, a civil engineering professor at the Hanoi University. The quest for new practices that could help to sustain development while protecting the environment in Vietnam landed Dr. Nguyen at North American Wetland Engineering (NAWE) in White Bear Lake, Minn. NAWE is a world leader in developing ecological engineering solutions for water and wastewater treatment.

Dr. Nguyen commented in the meeting at NAWE that Vietnam has an estimated population of 82 million people, most of who live in rural areas where alternative options to water and wastewater management are a must. He added that cost is a huge issue and part of the strong appeal of decentralized wastewater treatment such as the engineered wetland systems NAWE is known for worldwide.

"I came to the US to learn and to share my experiences," Dr. Nguyen said. "I think there is a potential for cooperation between the scientists in Vietnam and those here in America."

While in the United States, Dr. Nguyen also presented papers at the National Ground Water Association conference in Baltimore, July 21-22, and at the WEF "2nd Joint Specialty Conference for Sustainable Management of Water Quality Systems for the 21st Century," Aug. 28-31 in San Francisco.

NAWE president Curt Sparks and Scott Wallace, P.E., executive vice president, along with a number of other engineers and scientists from NAWE, attended the meetings with Dr. Nguyen. Also present was Michigan State University professor Ted Loudon P.E.

Dr. Nguyen returns to Vietnam with plans to offer a seminar on the systems he learned about while in Minnesota and to work with his colleagues to provide courses on decentralized wastewater management to the next generation of civil engineers in his country.

Engineered wetlands are an eco-engineering technology that are used worldwide and continue to gain acceptance throughout the US and Canada. NAWE is committed to using ecological technologies that balance the needs of development and the environment. Their engineers participate in some of the most important environmental engineering projects around the globe. These include the protection of the Meso-American Reef in Mexico, restoration of the Yarqon River in Israel, discussions regarding the restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshes in Iraq, and consulting in SriLanka after the Tsunami. Closer to home, NAWE engineers are leaders in developing innovative, cost-effective wastewater solutions for small communities and residential developments. NAWE has designed over 200 wastewater systems throughout the United States and around the world.

For more information, North American Wetland Engineering LLC's website is at www.nawe-pa.com. For a copy of his recent paper "Potential Decentralized Wastewater Management for Sustainable Development from Vietnam Experience," please contact Judy Lissick at NAWE, 651-255-5050 or jlissick@nawe-pa.com.

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