Zenon donates water filtration systems to Katrina-affected region
Now that the storm has passed and the levee breaks are being repaired, the millions of gallons of stagnant, bacteria-laden flood water remain the major challenge facing New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Zenon Environmental, together with Maytag, its North American distributor, are providing technology to deal with this problem.
The two companies are donating water filtration systems to aid in relief efforts in affected areas in Mississippi and Louisiana. Zenon has already sent 40 of its Homespring central water filtration systems to Louisiana, and Maytag has agreed to match the donation; it will soon be sending an additional shipment of 40 units.
The first shipment of water treatment systems has already arrived in Baton Rouge, where it is being staged for installation. Zenon's technicians arrived in the area last week and began installing some of the units, at the same time training local technicians to set up the remainder of the equipment. To date, six public schools and several churches in affected counties have been selecte as initial sites for the filtration system. Several disaster relief housing centers in the New Orleans area are also being considered.
The unique central water filtration systems will help prevent further spread of bacteria-borne and parasitic diseases, which at this stage pose a major health hazard for survivors and rescue teams. Each of the Homespring filtration systems can potentially produce up to 5,000 gallons of water per day when deployed in easily accessible public locations. This means the 80 units provided will be able to provide clean, safe drinking water to approximately 600,000 people. Earlier this year, these same Homespring units were also used in relief camps in the Tsunami-ravaged areas of the Pacific.
Zenon chairman and CEO Andrew Benedek acknowledged the assistance of numerous other organizations in implementing this initiative: Environmental Technical Sales (ETEC), Zenon's representative in Louisiana and Mississippi, which provided co-ordination and worked with local contractors on installation of the units; FOP Development and Reynolds, which provided assistance in the Mississippi area; the Naval ROTC Unit, University of Florida, Class of 76/77 who helped arrange transportation of the units with Northwest Airlines; Northwest Airlines, which donated space on its flight from Toronto to Baton Rouge; Empire Transportation, which delivering the shipment from Zenon's Burlington, Ont warehouse to the airport; and local groups who helped with storage and selection of installation sites, including Cajun Constructors, Neel-Schaffer Engineers, Tullier Contractors, and the Mississippi Baptist Convention.