Ionics awarded contract valued at $4.5M for 15 MGD surface water treatment plant for Eagle Pass, Texas

Ionics Inc. was awarded the contract to build a new 15 MGD ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system for the City of Eagle Pass, Texas.

WATERTOWN, MA, June 11, 2003 -- Ionics Inc. was awarded the contract to build a new 15 MGD ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system for the City of Eagle Pass, Texas.

The new UF system, which will replace an aging conventional treatment facility, will treat surface water from Rio Grande so as to meet regulatory requirements of the Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule. The plant is expected to be operational in 2004.

The Board of the Eagle Pass Water Works System unanimously selected the Ionics UF system over several competitive offerings. The Ionics membrane system utilizes pressurized, "inside-out" hollow fiber membranes manufactured by Norit, whereas the competitive designs called for submersible systems.

In awarding the project, the engineers stressed that an important factor in the decision was the significant operating experience with Norit's X-Flow membranes on municipal water systems, including over 7 years of experience on municipal water systems and over 140 MGD of capacity currently in operation.

"Eagle Pass is looking forward to moving from the conventional treatment system, which has been in use for over half a century, into the new Ionics membrane system," according to Eagle Pass Water Works Director, Robert Gonzalez.

"Of particular concern in the process used to select Ionics was the requirement for simplicity of operation and dependability of the treatment process. Since the membrane system will be new to the operators, simplicity will make the transition from conventional to membrane treatment more acceptable to the operators," Gonzalez added.

"Ionics has been supplying membrane systems to municipalities in Texas for over 15 years, and we are delighted to add this large UF system for the City of Eagle Pass to our growing list of municipal installations," according to Ionics' North American Municipal Sales Manager, Alden Whitney.

Ionics has an exclusive agreement with Norit to supply UF systems for municipal systems greater than 10 MGD in the US and Canada. Under this agreement, Ionics is supplying UF systems for a range of applications including for small and large communities, water use applications, pretreatment for RO, and other industrial water and wastewater treatment applications. Currently under construction is the new 70 MGD treatment facility for the City of Minneapolis, the largest UF system for drinking water in the United States.

Norit's UF membranes will also be used in the 100 MGD membrane system that is part of a BOO contract with the Government of Kuwait to treat municipal effluent for reuse. Ionics is participating in this project as a 25% equity participant in the project company; as the designer and supplier of the UF-RO membrane system; and as an operator of the membrane portion of the facility over the 27.5 contract period.

About Ionics, Incorporated

Ionics is an internationally known specialist in the treatment and analysis of water and wastewater. Founded in 1948, Ionics has over 50 years of experience in the design, installation, operation and maintenance of membrane-based water treatment systems. Ionics is a supplier of membrane-based desalination systems in the world. Ionics is also a leader in the supply of zero liquid discharge systems, ultrapure water systems for the power and microelectronics industries, and in the measurement and analysis of both total organic carbon and boron. For more information about Ionics, visit the web site at

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