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The electric membrane or “electrodialysis” process for removing excess dissolved salts and minerals from water is rapidly increasing in use—both in the United States and abroad. On January 1, 1958, there were only two production (nonexperimental) electric membrane plants in operation in the United States. Only two years later, eleven plants with a combined capacity of over 350,000 gal per day were in operation, serving almost 10,000 people in Montana, Texas, Alaska, New York State, California, Utah, South Dakota, Arizona, and Illinois. In the Persian Gulf and North Africa (where oil activity is combined with a notable lack of fresh water), the first significant electric membrane installations were erected in 1954. Five years later, approximately twenty plants with an aggregate capacity of some 200,000 gal per day served over 25,000 people with fresh drinking and culinary water in Saudi Arabia, Bahrein, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. This compilation excludes a number of experimental units in this country and abroad; for example, a large plant has been under construction in South Africa for over two years which is designed to produce about 3 million gallons per day.
Katz, William E.
Ionics, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.