Water treatment a possibility for Haiti

Feb. 10, 2010 at 11:29 AM

HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army announced it took delivery of a wastewater treatment system that purifies within 24 hours for possible use in Haiti and Afghanistan.

Two units are on their way for U.S. troops stationed at forward operating bases in Afghanistan. Each unit can purify putrid water in about a day.

Sabin Holland, whose team at the Texas Research Institute for Environmental Studies at Sam Houston State developed the technology, said the treatment system has the potential to help decontaminate water in earthquake-stricken Haiti.

"One of the most pressing threats to public health in the aftermath of the recent earthquake is contaminated water and the lack of infrastructure to clean it up," said Holland. "This technology is an ideal application to mitigate that urgent need."

Researchers said the technology employs bioremediation using common bacteria.

"In the right combination and in the right medium, they have the capability to clean polluted water very quickly and very efficiently," said Holland. "It truly is a revolutionary solution."

The project was funded by the U.S. Defense Department.

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