ITT Completes First Rural Safety Project in China

ITT Corp. of White Plains, N.Y., and the China Ministry of Water Resources on Dec. 2 announced the completion of two new rural water treatment plants, part of a pilot project to tackle rural drinking water issues in China.

The two plants, which use leading water treatment technology, will supply more than 10,000 local residents with purified water that meets or surpasses the national standards. Both plants were designed and donated by ITT under an agreement with the Center for Rural Drinking Water Safety of China's Ministry of Water Resources.

"Finding sustainable solutions for the problem of rural drinking water safety in China poses huge challenges for the local government, rural residents, and technology providers," said Mike Kuchenbrod, president of ITT's China and India operations. "To address the issue, ITT designed two different solutions for Qing County and Zhaojiaopu Village, each according to the distinctive features of the water environment and the specific needs of local residents. We hope that these two successful pilot models can be promoted to more rural areas of China and offer useful experience for future rural drinking water safety projects in many developing regions of the world."

According to survey data, 300 million of China's rural residents drink water that falls below standards. Residents in Qing County rely on wells that have been in use for more than 20 years. Because of the local land composition, seawater has gradually infiltrated the wells leading to higher fluoride content in its water.

The ITT project was conceived in 2005, with company and the China Ministry of Water Resources signing a cooperation agreement in April 2008. Having analyzed raw water quality, residents' needs, and existing equipment, ITT employed technologies such as multiple agent filtration and ultraviolet sterilization to purify the well water and produce water that surpasses National Drinking Water Standards in a scalable form that is also energy- and resource-efficient.

"China continues to devote resources to a national comprehensive rural drinking water safety program. The establishment of water plants in Qing County and Zhaojiapu Village is a good start, acting as a successful archetype going forward," said Deng Shaobo, assistant director of the Center for Rural Drinking Water Safety. "We are grateful that ITT has donated the water treatment equipment for this pilot project and also provided the technical support throughout the entire process. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with ITT's water treatment experts to design better sustainable solutions and expand rural drinking water safety infrastructure."