Virtual Plant: Creating 21st Century Water System

September 15, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS

Harrington Park, N.J. — Lyonnaise des Eaux and United Water have combined their global expertise in water services and innovative research and development leadership to deliver a Virtual Plant solution to the U.S. water industry. The Virtual Plant is a revolutionary computer modeling application being applied for the very first time to model and simulate the entire water treatment cycle.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the utility industry will need to invest an estimated $36 billion over the next twenty years to upgrade water treatment facilities and comply with new safe drinking water regulations starting 2001. The Virtual Plant solution will help utilities meet the new requirements as well as achieving up to 40% savings in plant development and operation costs, enhancing water quality and providing greater process reliability. United Water will implement the first large Virtual Plant project at its Haworth Water Treatment Plant in New Jersey.

Don Correll, Chairman and CEO of United Water, said, “Our unique technology benefits municipalities across the United States by helping them meet new water quality standards in an economical and expeditious manner. United Water and Lyonnaise des Eaux are focused on providing water services that are dependable, efficient and of the highest quality possible.”

Patrick Cairo, International Technology and Research Director for Lyonnaise des Eaux, said, “The Virtual Plant is an innovative application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling tools that have been used in other industries for the past 30 years. Over the last eight years, our International Research and Development Center has perfected the components of its CFD model in more than 30 water facilities around the world. Our virtual plant technology is now the first in the world to provide optimized design solutions for the entire water cycle.”

The Virtual Plant is a computer modeling program that generates three- dimensional images of interacting substances (i.e. water and a disinfectant). With Virtual Plant technology, a full-scale plant operation can be reproduced on a computer so that plant designers can see how changes in water flow or water quality will affect the water treatment process. While design projects usually require a three to six month study at very high costs, this evaluation can now be accomplished in only a matter of days at a fraction of the cost. Overall, Virtual Plant in the water treatment cycle:

* Replaces long and expensive studies.

* Provides faster, more accurate results than existing physical models.

* Guarantees maximum efficiency of the applied treatment process.

* Allows for more innovative and adaptable designs.

In the U.S., United Water will be utilizing the Virtual Plant approach for the first time to design a $7 million upgrade of its Haworth Plant. The renovation will enable the plant to remain in compliance with the more stringent 2001 Safe Drinking Water Act rules. United Water’s efforts will be greatly bolstered by the Virtual Plant in terms of innovative design while achieving significant savings over the life of the process. The benefits of upgrading the Haworth Plant will be immediately passed on to over 750,000 people who depend on the plant for their water supply.

United Water is the nation’s second largest water services provider. The company provides water and wastewater services to more than 9 million people throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada through owned and operated utilities and operation and management contracts with municipalities. United Water is a subsidiary of Lyonnaise des Eaux. For more information about United Water, visit the company’s website at http://www.unitedwater.com .

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