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CERAMIC FILTERS ARE THE ANSWER TO MILWAUKEE'S 'SUPER BUG' PROBLEM

 SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the many things taken for granted in the United States is the availability of pure drinking water. However, as the residents of Milwaukee recently found out, there are times when municipal water treatment just isn't enough.
 Although the occurrence of the parasite cryptosporidium in the Milwaukee water system is a first, recent studies by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources have shown that cryptosporidium is evident in nearly half of Pennsylvania's 132 surface-water treatment plants.
 Cryptosporidium, a hardy parasite that can cause stomach upset and diarrhea in healthy people, has been called a new kind of "super bug" because it can easily pass through municipal water treatment systems and survive chlorine disinfection.
 The occurrence of cryptosporidium can happen anytime, according to Glen Schluder of the Wisconsin State Health Department, but shows up more often in the spring, because of run-off and increased turbidity in the water.
 "Other than preventing the intrusion of the parasite into the water system, or boiling their water, there are very few options available for residents," Schluder explains. "The parasite is extremely chlorine resistant, and because of its small size, it's harder to filter out of the system."
 The problem is further complicated because health officials aren't sure what constitutes an infectious dose of the parasite, or ultimately how small the parasite can be for establishing filtration standards.
 There is good news for the residents of Milwaukee and for other communities where cryptosporidium has been detected. Filter systems have been developed that are capable of removing cryptosporidium and a host of other microorganisms such as giardia and other bacteria that carry typhoid, cholera and salmonella.
 The leading manufacturer in the United States is Katadyn, a Swiss-based company that has been supplying state-of-the-art water purification equipment for more than 60 years. Backpackers and hikers are familiar with the company's compact ceramic filters that provide safe drinking water without boiling or chemical treatment.
 Katadyn has provided filtration systems for commercial, industrial and municipal applications, and is currently supplying portable water filters to the U.S. military's special operations forces, including troops in Somalia with Operation Restore Hope.
 Herb Koelble, vice president of marketing and sales for Katadyn, explains how the filters work:
 "Water is disinfected by microfiltration using specially designed, porous ceramic filters that physically remove parasites and bacteria 0.2 microns or larger. The cryptosporidium that is causing the problems in Milwaukee are 2 microns or more in size and easily removed. By comparison, giardia cysts, which are a problem in some back country areas of the U.S., are seven to 12 microns in size. Katadyn filters will completely remove both parasites in one treatment.
 "Unlike carbon, membrane and fiber filters, the ceramic won't permanently clog. In addition, it causes no change in taste, like chlorine or iodine can cause."
 For household or residential use, Katadyn offers two models. For temporary use, Katadyn's Drip Filter will provide up to 10 gallons of water per day. Raw or untreated water is poured into an upper compartment and gravity causes it to drip through three ceramic filters. Approximate retail cost of this filter is $400.
 A more permanent solution, according to Koelble, is to install a household filter on a water line inside the home. This type of filter is similar in appearance to other chlorine filters on the market and are typically installed under a sink or countertop. The ceramic elements in both types of filters will supply thousands of gallons of safe drinking water. This filter costs about $200, plus any installation costs.
 "While the problem with cryptosporidium may be temporary in Milwaukee, it's difficult to predict when and where it might happen again. By installing a permanent filter or having a portable filter on hand, illness and infections can be prevented, particularly if there are infants or elderly people living in the home," says Koelble.
 Independent studies conducted by Harvard, Yale, the U.S. Army and the National Institute of Health and Tropical Medicine in Ecuador all attest to Katadyn's effectiveness. Other users include the International Red Cross, World Health Organization and the United Nations.
 The company sells its filters through dealers nationwide, but also directly to the public. For additional information or to order filters, contact Katadyn U.S.A., 3020 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251-7210, or call 800-950-0808.
 -0- 4/15/93
 /CONTACT: Herbert Koelble, VP of marketing and sales of Katadyn, 800-950-0808/


CO: Katadyn U.S.A. ST: Arizona, Wisconsin IN: SU: PDT

BP-JL -- LA006 -- 6022 04/15/93 08:32 EDT
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Date:Apr 15, 1993
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