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American Water launches innovative desalination technology in partnership with Netherlands-based organizations Staff Report

Oct. 4, 2009

American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK) has partnered with Vitens, RWB Waterservices, the University of Twente and WE Consult to launch a $2.5 million to $3 million innovative desalination technology project, according to an American Water announcement.

The partnership with the Netherlands-based organizations is the first for American Water's new Innovation Development Process, an initiative that combines American Water’s research and development, technical expertise, and infrastructure assets with innovations from within the company and from business partners to create greater efficiencies in the areas of water reuse, desalination, wastewater operations and bio-energy.

The “Clean Operator” project is co-funded by subsidiary SenterNovem and aims to reduce the costs, environmental impact and carbon footprint of desalination.

In the Clean Operator project, the partners will develop new technologies for seawater
desalination and the treatment of surface water and wastewater using Reverse Osmosis
membranes, according to an American Water news release.

“Many desalination plants suffer from membrane fouling, and in some cases the membranes need
frequent chemical cleaning, which increases operational costs and the emission of waste
chemicals and carbon dioxide to the environment,” said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, Director of
Innovation and Environmental Stewardship. “The goal of the Clean Operator project is to reduce
operational costs through a sustainable operation resulting in cleaner membranes.”

With a budget of $2.4 million to $3.2 million for 2009-2011, the project will deliver operational technology for use in existing and new membrane plants. The fundamental research will be performed by the University of Twente, assisted by Vitens and WE Consult. RWB Waterservices and WE Consult will focus on the development of the new technology, while Vitens and American Water will concentrate on applying the technology in their water treatment plants, the American Water announcement said.

Founded in 1886 and headquartered in Voorhees, N.J., American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, providing drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada.

Vitens is the largest water supply company in the Netherlands, supplying drinking water to 5.4 million consumers and businesses. The University of Twente is a leading university on research in membrane filtration, particularly in module hydraulics and membrane preparation. RWB Waterservices is a Dutch supplier of various types of water treatment equipment for wastewater treatment, industrial water supply and potable water supply. WE Consult specializes in innovation and development of new water technology.





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