Rainwater harvesting, water treatment system earns GE ecomagination award
Grove Farm Company was honored with a GE ecomagination Leadership Award in Honolulu, Hawaii, for an innovative, environmentally responsible solution that provides a sustainable, new water resource for as many as 15,000 residents and visitors on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i. By combining GE's ecomagination-certified membrane ultrafiltration technology and a century-old reservoir and irrigation system, Grove Farm is collecting, storing, and treating rainwater to alleviate rising water scarcity...
LIHUE, HI and TREVOSE, PA, Sept. 18, 2008 -- Grove Farm Company was honored with a GE ecomagination Leadership Award in Honolulu, Hawaii, for an innovative, environmentally responsible solution that provides a sustainable, new water resource for as many as 15,000 residents and visitors on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i. By combining GE's ecomagination-certified membrane ultrafiltration technology and a century-old reservoir and irrigation system, Grove Farm is collecting, storing, and treating rainwater to alleviate rising water scarcity.
Surface water collected and treated at Grove Farm's Kapaia Reservoir is becoming an increasingly important drinking water resource as the island's groundwater reserves decline from rising demand and reduced replenishment. The slopes of nearby Mount Waialeale, known as one of the wettest places on Earth, provide an abundant alternative water source, receiving as much as 460 inches (1,170 cm) of annual rainfall. Using its extensive network of irrigation ditches, Grove Farm directs a significant portion of the rainfall into its 75-acre (30.4-hectare) Kapaia Reservoir.
GE's ZeeWeed ultrafiltration system at the compact, unobtrusive Grove Farm Water Purification Plant (WPP) draws water from the reservoir and produces up to three million gallons (11,356 m³) of drinking water per day for the surrounding communities. The advanced ZeeWeed membranes filter water through microscopic pores to remove virtually all particles, bacteria and viruses. This proven technology has been used throughout the world for nearly two decades to meet or exceed the world's most stringent potable water standards and to protect public health from water borne illnesses.
"We are extremely proud that GE technology is playing an essential role in developing new, long-term water resources for Kaua'i," said Jeff Garwood, president and CEO GE Water & Process Technologies. "This ecomagination-award-winning plant will help solve water shortages on the island and will also serve as an outstanding example of what can be achieved when forward-thinking people and proven, advanced technologies come together."
"Grove Farm has played an integral role in Kaua'i's history for nearly 150 years," said Warren H. Haruki, president and CEO of Grove Farm. "We recognized the challenges facing Kaua'i and have implemented a sustainable solution to alleviate our island's dependence on traditional water sources. With the assistance of innovative companies such as General Electric, and the pioneering partnership with our local Department of Water, we are extremely proud of our Water Purification Plant and we will continue to explore new ways to benefit Kaua'i. Our broader goal is to implement sustainable technologies for renewable energy and food production."
Grove Farm Company completed construction and opened the water purification plant in September, 2005. Treated water from the plant is sent to the County of Kaua'i Department of Water, which has contracted a 15-year, public-private partnership with Grove Farm to purchase and distribute two million gallons (7,570 m³) of water per day to the surrounding homes and businesses.
Along with the construction of the water purification plant, Grove Farm also created new habitat areas for Hawaii's state bird, the Nene Goose, on lands adjacent to the water plant. Three habitat areas, totaling eight acres (3.2 hectares), were enhanced to benefit the Nene, which is recovering from the brink of extinction. The company has coordinated two successful releases of the birds and the Kapaia Reservoir is currently home to approximately 25 Nene.
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Grove Farm Company Inc., headquartered in Lihue, owns approximately 40,000 acres on Kaua'i, making it one of Kaua'i's largest private landowners.