ZeeWeed MBR technology selected for wastewater plant upgrade, expansion

GE Water & Process Technologies is supplying its ecomagination-certified ZeeWeed membrane bioreactor (MBR) ultrafiltration technology as part of a $250 million upgrade and expansion to the Yellow River Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) in Gwinnett County, Ga. The selection of the advanced ZeeWeed treatment process contributed to a $50 million savings in the projects capital costs, largely due to the compact size of the ZeeWeed MBR system...

• Compact plant footprint contributes to $50 million savings in project capital costs

TREVOSE, PA, Feb. 21, 2008 -- GE Water & Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Co., is supplying its ecomagination-certified ZeeWeed* membrane bioreactor (MBR) ultrafiltration technology as part of a $250 million upgrade and expansion to the Yellow River Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) in Gwinnett County, Ga. The selection of the advanced ZeeWeed treatment process contributed to a $50 million savings in the projects capital costs, largely due to the compact size of the ZeeWeed MBR system, which helped to dramatically reduce the quantity of concrete, steel and labor needed to complete the construction.

GE's ZeeWeed MBR process eliminates the need for large, costly concrete settling tanks that conventional wastewater processes rely on to separate contaminants from treated effluent -- instead occupying just a fraction of the space to consistently produce tertiary-quality effluent that can be safely discharged to sensitive receiving bodies or reused for various non-potable applications.

Procured on behalf of Gwinnett County by Pizzagalli Construction Co., a Vermont-based water treatment construction specialist, the ZeeWeed MBR process will boost treatment capacity at the Yellow River WRF by 7.5 million gallons per day (MGD) to 22 MGD. The increased treatment capacity will enable Gwinnett County to consolidate its wastewater treatment operations and close two smaller, aging plants up river, not only reducing operating costs, but also ensuring the highest quality effluent will be discharged into the river. During dry periods, treated effluent from the Yellow River WRF can comprise as much as 80 percent of the river flow, emphasizing the need for high quality effluent to protect the delicate river ecosystem.

"Rising construction costs, increasingly stringent wastewater treatment standards and the need for compact plant footprints are among the main reasons our ZeeWeed MBR process continues to be a leading choice for municipal, industrial and land development projects," said Jeff Garwood, president and CEO, GE Water & Process Technologies. "As ZeeWeed MBR evolves, one of our main objectives is to continually reduce system costs and process footprints. Fifty million dollars in capital savings for the upgrade and expansion of the Yellow River WRF shows us that our efforts are helping clients to implement advanced treatment technologies that meet their economic, environmental and operational goals."

The Yellow River expansion, which will be completed in phases, will begin construction in May 2008 and is scheduled to be operational by mid-2011. Once completed, the Yellow River WRF will be among the world's largest municipal wastewater treatment plants to incorporate the advanced ZeeWeed MBR system. Gwinnett County also operates North America's largest ZeeWeed tertiary ultrafiltration system at its 60 MGD F. Wayne Hill Water Reclamation Facility.

The superior quality effluent produced from these plants could potentially play an important role in helping Georgia and other southeastern U.S. states deal with chronic drought conditions that are straining the region's ability to maintain adequate water supplies for residential and industrial use.

In Dec. 2007, GE and Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce co-hosted the Georgia Water Solutions Forum in Atlanta, where federal, state and local government and business representatives gathered to discuss the need to implement sound water stewardship practices and expand on everyone's role in developing technology, policy, and conservation strategies that can help the region reduce, reuse and replenish water supplies in Georgia.

GE Water & Process Technologies offers a broad portfolio of water and process technologies, including: separation equipment; membrane & filtration technology; diagnostic tools; specialty chemicals; mobile water capabilities; service; and financing.

*Trademark of General Electric Company; may be registered in one or more countries.

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