Mar 13, 2008

Key West, Fla. Implements Smart Sponge Filtration Technology

System effectively protected environment against recent grease spill

Key West, Fla., officials are praising a new preventative technology called the Smart Sponge Plus, a filtration system installed in 11 storm water drains on Duval Street, after it captured grease from a recent grease spill at a local restaurant.

The Smart Sponge Plus is part of Key West’s storm water management project aimed at blocking oil, bacteria and trash from entering the nearby offshore reef community and coastal waters. Operations Management International (OMI) conducted the grease spill cleanup. OMI reported that a total of four gal of grease was captured in the AbTech Industries' Smart Sponge Plus filters located in the storm drain adjacent to the source of the grease spill on Duval Street.

"The Duval Street storm water system is heavily impacted by tourists and recreational activities that leave excessive trash and debris on our streets, sidewalks and storm drains," said Annalise Mannix, environmental programs manager. "It was only a matter of time before an accident of this nature was bound to occur and impact our waterways. We are so grateful that the installation of the Smart Sponge pollutant-removing system was in place to proactively limit any pollutants and toxins from entering our near shore waters."

The Key West storm water management project involved the installation of 33 debris-trapping inserts that have been put into storm drains along Duval Street. The inserts have been provided through a Coral Reef Conservation Fund grant awarded to the city through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. In addition to blocking trash and absorbing oil, the Smart Sponge Plus system contains an antimicrobial agent that destroys E. Coli and other bacteria and fungi.

Glenn Rink, President of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based AbTech Industries, applauded the city of Key West for its initiative to take preventative measures against accidents that may occur and damage the environment. "The effectiveness of the Smart Sponge technology is a testament to the forward-thinking city of Key West for taking proactive steps in preserving our environment," Rink said.