May 15, 2009

American Water Awarded Contract for Desalination Plant in Laredo, Texas

Plant will employ advanced vapor compression, a new desalination technology

American Water, the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, has announced that its subsidiary, Applied Water Management, has been awarded a contract from Terrabon, LLC for engineering services and the operation of a 50,000-gal-per-day desalination pilot plant in Laredo, Texas. This plant will employ a new desalination technology, known as advanced vapor compression (AdVETM), which is expected to reduce the capital and operating costs of treating water with concentrations of dissolved solids above levels acceptable for drinking water. Engineering work is expected to begin this month and Applied Water Management is expected to begin operating the facility by the end of 2009.

The project is designed to provide additional fresh water for residents of Laredo, which has an estimated population of 215,000 and is located in the semi-arid area on the Texas-Mexico border. Laredo is near the limit for water that can be drawn from the Rio Grande River and ground water has been impacted by salt intrusion.

In addition to reviewing the operability of Terrabon’s equipment design and preparing site designs, once constructed, Applied Water Management will operate the facility as a subcontractor to Terrabon on behalf of the city of Laredo, Texas.

“We are extremely pleased to be awarded this contract and are committed to delivering excellent service that the residents of Laredo can depend upon,” said Tim Davies, president of Applied Water Management. “As the operator of the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant in Tampa, Florida and the DBO for another pilot plant in Monterey, Calif., American Water is committed to providing successful solutions to water supply challenges through innovative technologies and environmental stewardship."

“The world’s need for safe, clean water is becoming increasingly urgent,” said Gary W. Luce, Terrabon CEO. “The development of this AdVETM pilot project is an important step in securing and providing clean water for the people of Laredo and ultimately, for people around the globe. We look forward to working with Applied Water Management to implement this cost-effective solution.”