Pollution Engineering recently spoke with Aeration Industries co-founder and President Dan Durda. Mr. Durda co-founded the company, which celebrates its 30* anniversary this year, with his father, Joseph Durda, in Minneapolis, Minn. Known as the land of 10,000 lakes, a healthy fish population was very important to in-state residents. The company's first products were thus designed to reduce the fish-kill that occurred during winter months. Ice on the Minnesota lakes can be over two feet thick and snow covered. Such harsh conditions do not allow enough light into the lake to support plant life. The plants die and the decaying vegetation depletes the amount of oxygen in the water, which results in fewer fish.
During a particularly rough winter, characterized by a number of consecutive days with temperatures well below zero, Aeration Industries received a telephone call that changed the small business' future. At the time, the company had a number of their specially designed aerators operating in local lakes. An engineer driving past one of these lakes noticed that, as cold as it was, the water was well oxygenated and not freezing over. Impressed with such performance, the engineer contacted Aire-02 to inquire if they had any experience using their equipment in wastewater applications. Durda admitted that, at the time, Aire-02 had only limited experience in wastewater. Today, they're a leader in the industry.
Since that fateful contact, the company has grown into an international operation operating in 70 countries around the world. ABC's Peter Jennings and Britain's BBC featured them in a special TV program in the early 1990s. Aeration Industries was also featured on a Korean TV network for work done to improve the Suyong River in preparation for the 1988 Olympics held in Seoul.
In 30 years, the Aeration Industry product line has grown and now features water treatment systems to fit nearly any application. Some new products for the company include the Aire-02 Triton Process Aerator/Mixer and the Tri- Oval System.
The Triton reduces energy consumption while improving oxygen transfer. It improved efficiency by a factor of four over previous designs.
The Tri-Oval System is a complete high-rate activated sludge treatment system for municipal or industrial wastewater treatment facilities. Tri- Oval gives users a remarkable level of process control but still remains fairly simple to operate. Aeration also offers a remote monitoring service for both the Triton and Tri-Oval systems, providing accurate and complete regulatory documentation without requiring the operator to remain constantly on-site.
Aeration Industries has been a member of the WWEMA for many years and enjoys a great relationship with the organization. Durda, a WWEMA board member, explained that the organization is constantly looking for ways to benefit its members.