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Membranes Becoming Treatment Method of Choice for Large Scale Drinking Water Plants


ZENON books over $35 million for three municipal orders, including largest ultrafiltration membrane drinking water installation, together treating a total of 160 million gallons of water per day in United States and Canada

OAKVILLE, Ontario, February 4, 2004 - Superior quality drinking water, virtually free of harmful contaminants such as parasites, bacteria and most viruses, is now a cost competitive alternative to other conventional forms of water treatment. As a result, Thornton, Colorado, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mississauga (Peel Region), Ontario will all be future sites of membrane plants using ZENON's (TSX: ZEN and ZEN.A; OTC: ZNEVF and ZNEAF) proprietary technology.

The City of Thornton, Colorado needed to expand and upgrade the existing drinking water plant to service its community of more than 100,000 people. In addition to looking for a reliable, proven technology, the municipality had to consider how easily any new technology could be retrofitted into the existing plant.

Dependability was a critical issue to the decision making process, not only in the type of technology, but also in the company supplying it, according to Bud Hart, Water Supply, Treatment and Quality Manager for the City of Thornton.

"It's easy to find the right product through proper piloting and evaluation, but it's much harder to find the right company to be working with," said Mr. Hart.

"We were impressed with the ZeeWeed membrane durability and performance but even more so with the company," continued Mr. Hart. "After consulting with other ZENON customers, we saw the company's proven track record of professionalism in their customer care and service. When you can find a company that has both product and people, you go with them."

The new system is expected to be complete by the spring of 2005 and will treat 50 million gallons of drinking water per day (189,000 m3/d).

According to the Director of Water Quality and Water and Waste Water Treatment for Scottsdale, Jim Clune, "We have a lot of membrane experience and are definitely sold on the technology. Membranes are clearly the future of water treatment and more and more municipalities are opting for membranes as the alternative to conventional treatment methods."

The City of Scottsdale is currently paying the City of Phoenix to treat a portion of its drinking water, sourced from the Salt River Project. This is challenging surface water because it also contains levels of arsenic that can reach as high as 20 ?g/l, double that of the recently revised US EPA limit of 10 ?g/l. In addition to this, the City has limited space for building a new water treatment plant.

"When you have all these factors to consider," said Mr. Clune, "you need to find one solution that will address all of these issues. It's obvious that you have to go with membranes. We selected ZENON after a very competitive procurement process that included pilot testing of several different membrane systems," continued Mr. Clune.

The new Chaparral Water Treatment Plant will be built on a 10-acre site. Once completed in the spring of 2005, it will be treating 30 million gallons of drinking water per day (114,000 m3/d).

In an effort to upgrade and expand a drinking water facility in the City of Mississauga, Ontario, Regional Council for Peel Region recently approved the purchase of ZENON's membrane technology for the Lakeview Water Treatment Plant. The expansion will add 80 million gallons per day (over 300 ML), summer capacity, of drinking water to the existing 148 million gallons per day (560 ML) currently being produced.

This expansion will constitute the largest ultrafiltration membrane installation for drinking water treatment in the world.

"When you're responsible for providing drinking water to over one million residents, you have to ensure that the quality is the best it can be," said Public Works Committee Chair, Maja Prentice.

The expansion will incorporate ozone and biologically activated carbon (BAC) to pre-treat source water from Lake Ontario, prior to membrane filtration. "It's an innovative approach that improves taste and odour and secures public health," continued Ms. Prentice.

The plant expansion is scheduled for completion in 2006.

ZENON is a world leader in providing advanced membrane products and services for water purification, wastewater treatment and water reuse to municipalities and industries worldwide.

The 2003 recipient of the prestigious Stockholm Industry Water Award, ZENON was selected because of the company's innovative approaches to the development of water and wastewater process technologies along with its contributions to environmental improvement.

Additional information is available at the Company's web site www.zenon.com <http://www.zenon.com/>.