14 March 2010


March 2010

FLEMINGTON, NJ, USA - High arsenic levels in the drinking water drawn from local wells are a major public health issue in both India and Bangladesh. Working with one of its customers, DNA Infrastructure, MEL has successfully developed a solution to the problem, using its ISOLUX® technology. 

During 2009 this technology was used to provide arsenic remediation to a number of villages in the State of Bihar in India (northeast corner of India, close to the border with Bangladesh). At this point in time, approximately 39 villages have ISOLUX® arsenic removal systems and DNA is currently bidding for a second project to provide systems to as many as 500 villages. 

The villages involved are rural, primitive settlements with little or no electric power and no running water. Villagers (typically women and children) bring containers to a central well each day to draw the water they need. See photograph above. 

The overall project includes a fascinating combination of modern technology and primitive conditions. At the village well there is a well house which contains the ISOLUX® unit. Water is pumped from the well, through the ISOLUX® unit, and into the storage tanks in the well house. Since there is no electric power available, the well pump is powered by solar energy. On the outside of the well house are two water taps where the villagers come to draw the water from the storage tanks. 

This is another example of the versatility of zirconium and the innovation of MEL Chemicals have helped to clean up the environment and solve a major health threat. This is not just an issue for the Indian Sub-continent. Arsenic contamination is a major issue in certain States in the USA, particularly California and ISOLUX® technology is playing its part in solving the problems there too.