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Trade Mission to Sri Lanka Helps Rebuild Water & Wastewater Systems

Hartland, WI – April 20, 2005– Aero-Stream® LLC, a national leader in residential water and wastewater treatment, went to Sri Lanka with a team of other wastewater disposal and freshwater supply experts earlier this month. Aero-Stream® LLC was one of nine companies invited by the States of Wisconsin and Minnesota Trade Offices and the US Agency for International Development to participate in the trade mission. The nine companies were selected for their abilities to help the island country rebuild and modernize its damaged water infrastructure. The week-long trade mission had originally been scheduled prior to the December Indian Ocean tidal wave ravaged Sri Lanka’s coastal areas. It was then postponed and reorganized to assist in Sri Lanka’s rebuilding effort.Sri Lanka has suffered from problems with freshwater supply and wastewater disposal for years. Then the tsunami disaster destroyed water-treatment equipment and contaminated fresh water wells with salt water. Since the catastrophe, Sri Lankans have been purifying water with donated equipment, and wastes are overwhelming inadequate home septic systems. In Sri Lanka’s largest city, Colombo, the municipal wastes are gathered and then discharged, untreated, into the Indian Ocean.In addition to Aero-Stream® LLC, the Wisconsin delegates included civil engineering firm Fehr-Graham & Associates Inc.; Butler Engineering Inc., a wastewater engineering consultantcy; and BT2, an environmental engineering company. The Minnesota companies participating included Aeromix Systems Inc., a Golden Valley company that makes aerators for wastewater treatment plants; GAIA Group Inc., a Prior Lake wastewater treatment consultantcy; HDR Inc., a Nebraska-based engineering company with a wastewater practice in its Golden Valley office; North American Wetland Engineering in Forest Lake, which designs and builds wetlands to treat water; and Equerries Corp., an Afton company that sells small, on-site septic systems that don’t use chemicals.

The trade visit was financed by a $140,000 grant from the US-Asia Environmental Partnership, a program of the U.S. Agency for International Development begun in 1992 to help Asian countries with industrialization issues such as air and water pollution.