Xylem Recognizes 2014 Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winner


Xylem Inc. congratulates Hayley Todesco of Canada, the winner of the 2014 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP), the most prestigious international student competition for water-related research.

The award was presented to Ms. Todesco at the annual World Water Week celebration in Stockholm for her work focused on the effectiveness of the non-traditional use of slow sand filers on contaminated water in oil sands tailing ponds. Xylem has been a global sponsor of the award for 16 years, which draws entries from students in more than 30 countries.

The winning project identified how slow sand filters newly applied as biofilm bioreactors to biodegrade toxic napthenic acids were found to prevent more pollution of ground/surface water resources in the oil sands region. Todesco’s method proved to treat wastewater more efficiently, cost-effectively and sustainably than typical planktonic batch culture bioreactors, as the sand filters grow bacteria that effecively break down toxic waste.

H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented Todesco with the prize of $15,000 and for the first time this year, the winner’s school will receive $5,000.

“Finding solutions to challenging global water issues is our company’s focus. Enlisting the next generation of scientists, engineers, educators and practitioners is one way we are confident we will succeed,” said Patrick Decker, president and chief executive officer of Xylem. “For the sixteenth consecutive year, we have supported Stockholm International Water Institute, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and students from around the world, whose intellectual capabilities and desire to make a difference are truly impressive. We applaud their efforts and look forward to their continued success and contributions to the water industry.”

The selection jury also awarded a Diploma of Excellence to Orawan Thasanabenjakul, Pannawat Peanjad and Natthanicha Jairungsri from Thailand for a project focused on transforming wastewater generated during the production of raw natural rubber sheets to a valuable bio-plastic. The innovation found a 95.15 percent reduction in the amount of wastewater created during production by synthesizing the wastewater into gelatinous bacterial cellulose, which exhibits properties similar to petroleum-based plastic. The winners of the Diploma of Excellence will receive an award of $3,000.

The international SJWP is presented each year to students between the ages of 15 and 20 for outstanding water-related projects that focus on topics of environmental, scientific, social or technological importance. Teams from 29 countries competed for the international honor, which was awarded by an international jury of water professionals and scientists.

The prize is administered by the Stockholm International Water Institute.

Source: Xylem Inc.

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