GE Infrastructure, Water & Process Technologies (Booth #6100,, a unit of General Electric Company, recently joined the City of Minneapolis for the opening tour of the city's new Columbia Heights water filtration plant -- the world's largest potable ultrafiltration (UF) plant. The plant utilizes GE's UF technology to provide up to 78 million gallons per day (MGD) of potable water to over half a million Minneapolis residents. Attendees at WEFTEC#&0174.05 can take a look at GE's UF technology by visiting the company's booth at the trade show.

"Each day over a billion people around the globe do not have access to safe drinking water and as water safety concerns and more stringent regulatory standards continue to emerge, cities across the globe are looking for ways to help safeguard their water from harmful contaminants," said George Oliver, CEO, GE Infrastructure, Water & Process Technologies. "UF solutions, as well as GE's other water scarcity solutions, aid cities like Minneapolis, in removing unsafe substances from water, so that they can decrease their chance of an incident, like the heart-breaking Milwaukee Cryptosporidium outbreak."

In 1993, Milwaukee battled a Cryptosporidium outbreak that claimed the lives of an estimated 100 residents. The Milwaukee outbreak prompted the Minneapolis Water Works to conduct a feasibility study that examined the city's risk factors, as well as remedies, possible solutions, and technologies that would help safeguard the city's water. Upon completion of the study, Minneapolis, with its Peer Review Panel and Citizens Advisory Committee, determined that GE's UF technology was best-suited to aid the city in protecting its citizens.

GE's UF technology is a pressure-driven technology that provides a physical barrier to pathogens and is commonly used to remove suspended solids, bacteria, microorganisms, and viruses in potable water production. The Minneapolis plant combines GE's UF technology with NORIT membrane technology -- creating a complementary system that results in the extremely effective removal of hazardous waterborne microorganisms and contaminants.

In June, GE announced its plans for what will be Africa's largest seawater desalination plant. The Hamma plant, which will be one of GE's largest ecomagination projects, will be located in Algeria and will provide drinking water to 25 percent of all Algiers' residents. These projects join GE's largest ecomagination project, the Sulaibiya facility in Kuwait. This facility, which is world's largest membrane-based water reclamation facility, purifies municipal wastewater to produce 100 million gallons per day of clean water for industry and agricultural uses. GE now has an installed base of more than 1,100 water treatment plants that can achieve flow rates ranging from 30,000 gallons/day to 100MM gallons/day.

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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