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Thanks to a $140,000 grant in matching funds from the Council of State Government’s State Environmental Initiative, Minnesota and Wisconsin have organized The "Midwest-Sri Lanka Environmental Alliance Project."
Funding is provided by the United States Asia Environmental Partnership, an agency of USAID. The principle focus of the project is on watershed management and environmental practices in the Kelani River basin, the source of drinking water for Colombo, Sri Lanka's largest population center. As a result of the December 26th Indian Ocean Tsunami, the project will also offer water-related solutions for coastal reconstruction.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce’s Division of International and Export Development have chosen nine companies from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Minnesota companies include Aeromix, GAIA group, HDR Engineering, Equaris Corp. and North American Wetland Engineering (NAWE) and Wisconsin companies include Aero-Stream, LLC, Butler Engineering Inc., Fehr-Graham & Associates, BT2.
These Water and Wastewater Professionals will travel to Colombo, Sri Lanka and meet with Sri Lankan business leaders, planners and potential partners and discuss environmental technologies, best practices and business opportunities. The delegation will consist of companies and experts specializing in;
* Complete Wastewater Treatment Systems and Products;
* Environmental Engineering for Municipal, Industrial and Residential Development;
* Wetland Engineering and Wastewater Management Designs;
* Consulting Services in Engineering, Design, Environmental Management and Infrastructure Development;
* Solid Waste Disposal Systems; and
* Waste Minimization and Exchange.
Equaris Corp. provides decentralized wastewater and water treatment and recycling systems that have the ability to serve as a viable, long-term alternative to centralized wastewater facilities, for residences and commercial properties. Equaris’ technology separates and treats pollutants at the source with ultra-ultra low flush toilets and garbage disposals. Blackwater from these sources is plumbed to a Bio-Matter Resequencing Converter (BMRC) compost tank, and greywater is treated separately using aerobic biological treatment. Total water recycling is then possible utilizing ozone, ultraviolet, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis.
In many cases separation technology wastewater treatment can eliminate the need for piped water service to a residence or commercial facility. Rainwater catchment, filtration, disinfection and cistern storage can serve modest water makeup requirements.
Separation technology wastewater treatment and "point-of-use reuse" (POUR) applications may be equipped with "smart" control capabilities so that equipment performance can be monitored remotely via the internet. Such a wired or wireless monitoring infrastructure insures the water and wastewater system’s operational effectiveness, helps ensure healthier indoor and outdoor environments, and can be provided in conjunction with other remote services such as fire and security protection.
"This is a tremendous honor for the Equaris Corporation and its decentralized wastewater treatment and water recycling technologies" stated Clint Elston, President of Equaris. "Before the tsunami Sri Lanka had severe water supply problems, less than 5% of the country has piped water and sewer and after the tsunami over 12,000 water wells were contaminated with sewage or salt water. If the country is to build new sanitation and water supply systems this would be the prefect opportunity to implement "Separation" Technologies that would reduce water consumption by 40 to 95% and wastewater pollution by 99.999%, thereby creating Sustainable communities."
The United States Asia Environmental Partnership (US-AEP) Program is a regional program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that supports cooperation between governments, businesses and communities to address the environmental challenges primarily as a result of rapid economic growth. US-AEP introduces policies, practices and technologies to improve air and water quality, waste management, resource efficiency and environmental governance with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of life for people in Asia.
As Sri Lanka gears up to face the growing demands of globalization, there is growing realization of the need for quality environmental management practices to gain and maintain a competitive edge in the global market place. Improved environmental standards will not only increase the competitiveness of Sri Lanka but also create long-term savings and benefits due to greater efficiency, improved quality of life, avoided costs of clean up operations and fines for non compliance.