AbTech Industries Announces Long Island Soundkeeper Clean Water Filter Project Installation 100% Complete

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Early stage test results prove technology’s effectiveness in destroying harmful illness-causing bacteria.

AbTech Industries Inc., the leading provider of customized clean water solutions, announced today the successful installation of over 275 Ultra Urban® Filters (UUF) with Smart Sponge® Plus in storm drains in the targeted drainage area of Norwalk, Connecticut. The first round of field test results just released reveal a high level of success with the Smart Sponge® Plus - an innovative technology used to prevent bacteria and pollutants from emptying into the local waterways that lead to the Long Island Sound. In the initial phase of testing, the Smart Sponge® Plus filters successfully destroyed a very high percentage of bacteria, including E. coli and other fecal coliform, with an average removal rate of over 75 percent and a maximum up to 99.9 percent.

This stormwater management improvement project, dubbed the Filter Project, is a collective effort of Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, who secured the funding to tackle the city’s water pollution crisis through a federal EPA grant, the City of Norwalk, and the Soundkeeper. The Filter Project employs AbTech Industries’ pioneering technology to combat health-threatening bacteria, oil, grease, trash and debris that threaten the quality of drinking water supplies, shell-fishing waters, and bathing beaches in the Sound.

The Smart Sponge® Plus is a non toxic, sponge-like material, resembling popcorn that uses an anti-microbial agent, chemically bound to the Smart Sponge polymer filtration material, which inactivates health-threatening microorganisms without releasing chemicals or leaching.

Glenn Rink, President and CEO of AbTech Industries said, “Our technology’s success is not only based on its effectiveness of removing bacteria, hydrocarbons, and trash and debris, but also on its ability to encapsulate and transform hydrocarbon pollutants into a stable solid for easy recycling. It provides a closed-loop solution to water pollution and allows for less expensive and less problematic handling of the waste product,” Rink added.

Over the next year, the City of Norwalk will continue to evaluate the project’s success according to the reduction of bacteria, hydrocarbons and trash and debris from entering the Long Island Sound through the targeted drainage area. Longo & Longo, a Connecticut-based company and an AbTech Industries distributor, will also continue to work with the city to service, maintain, and help monitor the two drainage areas and the installed Ultra Urban® Filters.

Terry Backer, Soundkeeper and Executive Director of Soundkeeper Inc. stated, “The Filter Project will help clean our waters for swimming, boating and shellfishing and improve the general public health. We are very excited about the early success of The Filter Project and the rate at which the system has been implemented. With the continued support of AbTech Industries, the City of Norwalk and Senator Lieberman, we foresee unprecedented results and hope to expand the project in many cities and industries around Long Island Sound.”

About The Long Island SoundKeeper Filter Project

The Filter Project is a natural outgrowth of the Long Island Soundkeeper’s mission of protecting the Sound’s ecosystem, which is home to roughly 10 percent of the American population and Norwalk’s commitment to clean up local waterways. The part of the city selected for the project includes two drainage areas in Norwalk that have a similar land use – residential, industrial, marinas, and nurseries. The first is a basin with 275 drains, equipped with Smart Sponge® Plus antimicrobial UUF, which empty through one pipe into Norwalk Harbor on the way to the Long Island Sound. The second, the ‘control’ basin, does not have UUF’s and also flows through one pipe into the harbor.

The Filter Project is a three-year campaign that is expected to be sustained long after the grant period has ended. The goal is to maintain long-term change in urban watershed areas through consistent installation and maintenance of the catch basin filters equipped with AbTech’s antimicrobial technology. Total project cost is just over $500,000, most of which resulted from legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman and provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

About AbTech Industries

AbTech Industries, Inc., based in Scottsdale, Arizona, provides communities and industries with customized solutions to control or remove petroleum products such as gasoline, oil & grease, sediment, trash and debris, while destroying bacteria that are threatening the quality of our nation’s waterways.

AbTech’s products incorporate a polymer-based filtration material, the Smart Sponge®, a technology that effectively removes pollutants from flowing or pooled water, encapsulating them so that they cannot be released back into the environment even under high pressure. In addition, AbTech is the first company to combine an antimicrobial agent in its filtration material and provide the first solution that effectively destroys bacteria at the street level.

The Environmental Protection Agency has included AbTech’s Ultra-Urban® Filter series with Smart Sponge technology as a Best Management Practice (BMP) under the federal environmental guidelines that apply to local and state governments.

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Don Thompson
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