Hurricane Katrina relief provided by KMS, U.S. Navy in Miss.

Koch Membrane Systems, a developer and manufacturer of membrane elements and systems, is providing clean and potable water for reconstruction, humanitarian aid and disaster relief in post-Katrina Mississippi. KMS worked with engineers from the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation to provide clean and potable water through the use of tactical water purification systems, designated Expeditionary Unit Water Purification Systems...

BILOXI, MS, Oct. 20, 2005 -- The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina created an immediate need for clean and potable water. Koch Membrane Systems Inc., a developer and manufacturer of membrane elements and systems, worked with engineers from the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation to fill that need through the use of tactical water purification systems.

Designated Expeditionary Unit Water Purification Systems (EUWP), these mobile systems can be airlifted using a C-130 transport plane to provide potable water for reconstruction, humanitarian aid and disaster relief in areas such as Biloxi, Miss., a city that has been severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

When Hurricane Katrina struck, the system was undergoing final demonstration testing at the Tularosa Basin National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, NM. Within days, a request came from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to send the unit to Biloxi to provide potable water to the Biloxi Regional Medical Center.

"The address we had was 'Beach behind the Hard Rock Cafe, Biloxi, Miss.,' said John McArdle, director of commercial development for Koch Membrane Systems. "The project to develop and build the EUWP was administered by the U.S. Army and designed to be suitable for deployment to a war front. But it is also useful in emergency situations like we now have on the Gulf Coast."

The EUWP arrived and was immediately set-up on the beach by engineers from the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation. A hose was dropped into the ocean, and within a matter of hours it was converting seawater into clean drinking water suitable for use in the hospital.

After more than one month of operation, the EUWP has achieved its mission, producing well over a million gallons of clean water for use in the Biloxi Regional Medical Center. Now, with the local municipal infrastructure able to again deliver potable water, the EUWP is being returned to Alamogordo to await its next mission.

When treating contaminated fresh water, EUWP is designed to produce at a rate of 200,000 gallons per day, enough to provide drinking water for 40,000-50,000 people a day. The systems can also purify 100,000 gallons per day when treating highly turbid surface water or seawater, as well as feed water that has nuclear, biological or chemical contamination. The systems can be set up in as little as eight hours and are completely self-contained, needing only diesel fuel to run power generators.

Membranes are at the heart of each EUWP. As pretreatment to spiral reverse osmosis (RO) membranes, the EUWP uses TARGA®-10 hollow fiber ultrafiltration (UF) cartridges designed and manufactured by Koch Membrane Systems. The UF and RO membranes provide reliable operation for production of potable water with limited space and weight requirements, and low chemical consumption and waste generation. The EUWP was developed as the result of a collaboration of the EPA, NASA, the Office of Naval Research and a Gardena, California based manufacturer, Village Marine Tec.

Koch Membrane Systems, Inc. (www.kochmembrane.com) has been a global leader in separation and filtration products for more than 30 years. A designer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art membrane cartridges and elements, as well as complete membrane systems, KMS has products that treat even the most demanding applications. To enhance membrane performance, KMS offers a line of antiscalants and cleaning chemicals, and provides numerous maintenance and technical service programs. The company has supplied membranes to more than 15,000 systems used around the world, serving the food processing, life sciences, and general manufacturing industries, as well as providing potable water and wastewater treatment technologies for communities of all sizes.

With headquarters in Wilmington, Mass., Koch Membrane Systems is a member of Koch Chemical Technology Group LLC, which is a part of Koch Industries.

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