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UMD-Led Research Finds Subtle Signs of Water on Faraway Planets

College Park, Md (PRWEB) December 03, 2013

Using the powerful eye of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, two teams of scientists have found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets.

The presence of atmospheric water was reported previously on a few exoplanets – planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. But this is the first study to conclusively measure and compare the profiles and intensities of these signatures on multiple worlds.

University of Maryland Astronomy Prof. L. Drake Deming led the census of exoplanet atmospheres that produced the new findings. Deming and colleagues characterized two of the five planets in a study published Sept. 10 in Astrophysical Journal. The findings for the three other exoplanets were reported in the same journal today.

"To actually detect the atmosphere of an exoplanet is extraordinarily difficult. But we were able to pull out a very clear signal, and it is water," said Deming, an expert at using data from space and ground-based telescopes to deduce the characteristics of exoplanets, from massive “hot Jupiters” to planets with more Earth-like traits.

"We're very confident that we see a water signature for multiple planets," said Avi Mandell, a planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and lead author of the journal article published today. "This work really opens the door for comparing how much water is present in atmospheres on different kinds of exoplanets, for example hotter versus cooler ones."

The observations are the latest in a wave of new insights about exoplanets, made possible by new information from Hubble and NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which searches a nearby region of the Milky Way for Earth-sized planets capable of supporting liquid water.

These exceptionally challenging studies can be done only if the planets are spotted while they are passing in front of their stars. Researchers can identify the gases in a planet's atmosphere by determining which wavelengths of the star's light are transmitted and which are partially absorbed. Deming's team employed a new technique with longer exposure times, which increased the sensitivity of their measurements.

In both studies, scientists used Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 to explore the details of absorption of light through the planets' atmospheres. The observations were made in a range of infrared wavelengths where a pattern that signifies the presence of water would appear if water were present. The teams compared the shapes and intensities of the absorption profiles, and the consistency of the signatures gave them confidence they saw water.

The five planets -- WASP-17b, HD209458b, WASP-12b, WASP-19b and XO-1b -- orbit nearby stars. The strengths of their water signatures varied. WASP-17b, a planet with and HD209458b had the strongest signals. The signatures for the other three planets, WASP-12b, WASP-19b and XO-1b, also are consistent with water.

The Sept. 10 research paper described findings for HD209458b and XO-1b, while today’s publication describes WASP-12b, WASP-17b and WASP-19b.

The five planets are hot Jupiters, massive worlds that orbit close to their host stars. The researchers were initially surprised that all five appeared to be hazy. But Deming and Mandell noted that other researchers are finding evidence of haze around exoplanets.

"These studies, combined with other Hubble observations, are showing us that there are a surprisingly large number of systems for which the signal of water is either attenuated or completely absent," said Heather Knutson of the California Institute of Technology, a co-author on Deming's paper. "This suggests that cloudy or hazy atmospheres may in fact be rather common for hot Jupiters."


Media contacts:

Heather Dewar



University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences

J.D. Harrington



NASA Headquarters

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Oklahoma City Wins Best of the Best Tap Water Taste Test

DENVER (PRWEB) June 11, 2013

The American Water Works Association announced today that Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, Okla. has won the annual Best of the Best Tap Water Taste Test. The event, composed of regional winners from water-tasting competitions across North America, was held at AWWAs Annual Conference and Exposition in Denver.

The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust delivers tap water to more than 200,000 homes and businesses, and more than 20 nearby communities and water districts everyday through a system of more than 3,200 miles of underground pipes. This is the second time the utility has won the title of Best of the Best.

Second place in the competition was a tie between the City of International Falls, Minn. and Northeast Sammamish Sewer and Water District, Sammaamish, Wash. The Peoples Choice award winner, as determined by the conference attendees, was Louisville Water Company, Louisville, Ky.

Other Best of the Best participants in todays competition included: Anchorage Water and Wastewater, Anchorage, Alaska; Arcadia Water Utility, Arcadia, Wisc.; Aurora Water, Aurora, Colo.; Canandaigua Water Treatment Plant, Canandaigua, N.Y; City of Baltimore, Md.; City of Barnesville, Ga.; City of Denton, Texas; City of Emporia, Kan.; City of Fairhope, Ala.; City of Hamilton, Ohio; City of Mount Clemens, Mich.; Denver Water, Denver, Colo.; E J Water Cooperative, Inc., Dieterich, Ill.; Greenville Water, Greenville, S.C.; Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, Lakewood Ranch, Fla.; Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, Trujillo Alto, P.R.; Sioux Rural Water System, Watertown, S.D.; Taylorsville-Bennion Improvement District, Taylorsville, Utah and Town of Silverthorne, Colo.

An esteemed judging panel rated each water system on its flavor characteristics. Judges included Dr. Pinar Omur-Ozbek of Colorado State University and developer of the first international odor standard to be adopted and used for Flavor Profile Analysis of drinking water; Dr. Susan Mirlohi a recent graduate of Virginia Tech and expert in water quality and treatment who has conducted research characterizing metallic off-flavors in drinking water; Ari Copeland, operational specialist for Black & Veatch; Kimberly Lord Stewart, director of content for Modern Healthcare Professional and contributing food editor for Denver Life magazine and CBS Denver; and Cathy Proctor, reporter for the Denver Business Journal.

This is the ninth year AWWA has held the national competition. Previous winners are Fremont, Neb (2012), Greenville, S.C. (2011), Stevens Point, Wis. (2010), Macon (Ga.) Water Authority (2009), the Louisville (Ky.) Water Company (2008), Oklahoma City Water and Wastewater Utility (2007) and Illinois American Water, Champaign District (2006 and 2005).

ACE13, which will bring an estimated 11,000 water experts to Denver June 9-13, is the longest running water conference in the world, having first convened in 1881. The event features several hundred expert presentations and an exposition of more than 500 companies showcasing the latest innovations in water technology.

Founded in 1881, the American Water Works Association is an international, nonprofit, scientific and educational association committed to the safety and improvement of water quality and supply. Focusing its work in four strategic areas, Knowledge Creation and Exchange, Leadership and Advocacy, Member Engagement and Development, and Organizational Stewardship, AWWA unites the full spectrum of the water community to advance water management, education and science and to advocate for smart water policies.

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Revolutionary Treatment with MedX at The Back Clinic Helps a Former British Waterski Champion Get Back on the Water After Suffering a Serious Back Injury

London, UK (PRWEB UK) 23 May 2013

In March 1992 former British Waterski Champion, Brett Hodgkins, suffered a very serious back injury as he hit the six-foot ramp on his last jump at the Bridgewater Ski Club, Australia. It was his final chance to qualify for the US Pro Tour. He said ''It felt like someone had plunged a dagger into my lower back. It was the worst pain I had ever felt and I was unable to complete the run and jump.''

He later discovered he had two slipped discs in his lower back and had damaged most of the surrounding ligaments. Discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae. When a disk slips (disc prolapse) and pushes on your spinal nerves the pain is excruciating. With the pain he was experiencing he thought he would never compete again. After resting for one season without any success he received pain relieving injections which also had no effect and finally was admitted for surgery. He said ''I thought I had reached the end of the line as far as my skiing career went.''

In January 1998 he travelled to Florida for specialised back treatment on a piece of equipment called MedX which had been in the USA for several years but not been available in the UK yet. MedX is a revolutionary breakthrough for the general public and top-class athletes alike who is suffering from back pain or want to prevent back injuries. It is an ideal treatment for water skiers and wake boarders as around 75% of them suffer with back problems as result of their sport.

The MedX Lumbar Extension machine is unique as it has been specially designed to isolate and strengthen the lower back muscles. The result of over 20 years of research. By strengthening these muscles, the spine and discs become supported which in turn leads to a significant decrease or total elimination of back pain. It is a simple concept and also highly effective. He worked on MedX in Florida for a couple of months and then returned to England to complete his treatment at The Back Clinic which was then based at 148 Harley Street, London. It was the first clinic who brought MedX to the UK earlier that year and was already seeing great results with its patients.

The patient is seated in the MedX chair and the lower half of the body is immobilised using specially designed straps and blocks. This leaves the upper body free to bend and extend. The patient then performs a safe isometric strength test to determine their lower back strength (or lack of it) and range of motion. This information is printed out on a computer graph. The results are often surprising. The physiotherapists at The Back Clinic are used to seeing top-class athletes who think they are fit but who are amazed to see that their graph shows a back that is far weaker than it should be for their sex, age and weight matched norms.

Brett started out being able to push only 75lbs on MedX, but gradually by the end of the 12 week program, was pushing 400lbs. Afterwards he said ''My lower back felt rock solid and really strong. More importantly the excruciating back pain I had been feeling had disappeared completely.'' Advising his peers he said that he had no doubt that MedX is a great form of injury prevention and a way to improve skiing performance.

He also felt that since doing MedX at The Back Clinic he had gained greater balance control and more aggressive line loading which resulted in him being placed fifth in the Slalom event at that years British National Championships at Kirtons Farm. Brett believes that if it wasn't for the help he received from Mike Fulton in America and the specialist physiotherapy team at The Back Clinic he would not have been able to ski again.

About us:

We are passionate about seeing people set free from the debilitating effects of lower back pain. The Back Clinic is the only clinic in England that offers treatment in a clinical environment by Consultant Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists consisting of spinal mobilisations and manipulations, combined with core stability training and spinal rehabilitation on our MedX machines.

The Back Clinic is at 107 Harley Street, London, W1G 6AL. For more information call Isabella on 0207486 7711 or check out their website at

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Stealth Introduces a Water Resistant, Sunlight Readable, 8.4″ Rugged LCD Monitor for Demanding Applications

Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) March 13, 2009 Inc. (Stealth Computer) a leading ISO 9001 manufacturer of industrial rugged computers and peripherals has released their new Model TT-840, a rugged, environmentally sealed, LCD monitor with the ability to survive the demanding effects of harsh environments.

The Stealth model: TT-840 is an 8.4 inch sunlight readable LCD encapsulated in a rugged aluminum enclosure that has been sealed to IP68/NEMA 6P specifications. The high-performance LCD is totally water-tight, surviving liquid, dust and dirt intrusion and performs well beyond ordinary commercially available monitors. Stealth's rugged LCD will operate in extreme temperatures from minus 20 to plus 60 degrees centigrade, ideal for outdoor and intense weather conditions.

According to Stealth's CEO, Ed Boutilier; "by capitalizing on the latest in LED backlight technology the Stealth TT-840 rugged LCD features a vivid sunlight readable display with up to 1000 nits of brightness and a 600:1 contrast ratio making it ideal for outdoor or high ambient light conditions." The LED backlights provide superior performance over their CCFL counterparts by offering low power consumption, long-life and increased vibration and shock protection.

Stealth's TT-840 rugged display is shipped standard with Infrared (Ir) touch screen technology which provides distinct advantages over other touch screen technologies. Accurate touch positioning, increased optical transmissivity, superior shock and vibration specifications, no drift calibration and the ability to operate in wet environments with or without gloves are strong benefits.

Stealth's TT-840 LCD monitor operates with a 12-36VDC power input making it ideal for DC powered applications typically found in mobile applications. Power, video and USB connections are provided through IP68 water-proof connectors directly on the unit. A wide-range of versatile mounting options is available by using the industry standard VESA and RAM mounting patterns.

The Stealth TT-840 harsh environment LCD is ideal for industrial applications such as; Plant Floor, Marine, Transportation, Oil & Gas, Mining, Outdoor and other demanding applications.

About Stealth

Founded in 1990 Stealth.Com, is a leading manufacturer of specialized Computers and Peripherals. The company is ISO 9001 registered and continually develops innovative products designed to meet the exact needs of their clients. For almost two decades Stealth has provided thousands of proven reliable product solutions that have assisted clients with a myriad of applications. Our impressive customer base includes a wide range of customers from single man operations to Fortune 500 companies, Military installations and Governments worldwide.

For more information, press only:

Andrew Pakula

Stealth Computer

PH: 905-264-9000 ext #243

E-mail: marketing (at)

For high quality digital images of Stealth's products (300 DPI):

Stealth's main website and corporate information is available at:


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The Water Initiative

Norwalk, CT (PRWEB) September 21, 2012

The Water Initiative is pleased to announce that it has been chosen for the 2012 Artemis Top 50 Water Tech Listing."The Artemis Top 50 is the water industrys benchmark for innovation that will matter. It identifies the new solutions that will meet the world's water challenges, stated Laura Shenkar, Chair of the Artemis Top 50. The Top 50 are the most promising companies in the emerging global high tech wave in water and is unique in that judges evaluate not just technology and its application, but its real business viability going forward.

The Water Initiative (TWI) was selected by a jury that included experts from corporations such as Intel, Archer Daniels Midland, IBM, Ecolab, GmbH and Syngenta as well as McKinsey, CH2M Hill, Carollo Engineers, Nalco and the Singapore Public Utilities Board.

TWI successfully completed the installation of customized WaterCura


Pasteurization Technology Groups Greg Ryan to Participate in Cleantech Group Water Innovation Summit 2012

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (PRWEB) September 06, 2012

Greg Ryan, co-founder and CEO of Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG), has been invited to participate in the Cleantech Group Water Innovation Summit 2012, the annual gathering of blue-tech thought leaders and innovators to be held in Berkeley, California, September 13-14, 2012. The invitation-only, two-day summit convenes top investors, utility executives, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and public sector leaders to focus on three innovation themes: smart water, resource recovery, and water re-use.

The Water Innovation Summit offers a much-needed confluence of smart executives and pundits who represent key stakeholders in the urgent discussion of how we will engineer a sustainable water future, said Greg Ryan, CEO and co-founder of PTG. Businesses and wastewater operators are very concerned about the scarcity and cost of water, and its potential to affect their operations in terms of reputation, product quality, up-time, and ability to address the needs of their customers.

Mr. Ryan is the CEO and co-founder of Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG), innovator of the only wastewater disinfection process that creates renewable energy. PTG is experiencing rapidly growing sales demand for its wastewater treatment technology from the food, beverage, agriculture, and oil and gas industries, as well as municipalities. Mr. Ryan is an expert in the application of highly efficient, cost-effective and sustainable solutions that enable the re-use of water.

PTG helps businesses transform wastewater into a valuable resource

PTG is the first and only company in the world to combine wastewater disinfection with renewable-energy generation. PTGs patented technology can use the digester gas (often referred to as biogas, a natural by-product of wastewater treatment) or natural gas as fuel to drive a turbine that generates renewable electricity. The hot exhaust air from the turbine (energy that is typically wasted) is then passed through a series of heat exchangers that increase the temperature of the wastewater to a level that disinfects the wastewater stream. PTGs technology is significantly more cost-effective and more energy-efficient than other methods. And, unlike other wastewater disinfection approaches, PTGs systems do not require toxic chemicals such as chlorine, or costly electrical power and expensive UV lamps. PTG is growing rapidly because wastewater treatment plants have an increasing need to cost-effectively disinfect wastewater as well as reuse water.

About Pasteurization Technology Group

Located in California, Pasteurization Technology Group is a venture-capital backed company that is revolutionizing the disinfection of wastewater. PTGs systems utilize its patented two-for-one technology that combines eco-friendly wastewater disinfection with the generation of renewable energy. PTGs process is one of only a handful of technologies to pass the stringent standards of Title 22 in the state of California for the disinfection of water for reuse. By channeling the typically wasted exhaust heat from a turbine to disinfect wastewater, PTGs process is the most energy-efficient and lowest-cost solution on the market. PTG won the 2011 BlueTech


Landscape Structures Introduces AquaFlex

Delano, Minn. (PRWEB) July 19, 2012

Landscape Structures Inc., a Delano, Minn.-based commercial playground equipment manufacturer, is excited to introduce the AquaFlex


CasaQ is Tapped to Create Original Film and Foodie Events for

San Jose, CA (PRWEB) August 09, 2012

This year, when


Ventura Water Completes Initial Evaluation of New, Non-Toxic Wastewater Treatment Technology

San Leandro, CA (PRWEB) June 20, 2012

Ventura Water, the City of Venturas Water Department, has completed an initial evaluation phase of a project to transition its wastewater treatment plant to a safe, non-toxic, sustainable technology to replace the current chlorine-based disinfection process in use at the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility. This innovative project is in partnership with Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG), which has pioneered the industrys only non-chemical wastewater disinfection process that also generates renewable energy. The goals of the project are to discontinue handling hazardous chemicals, reduce costs, and potentially support expansion of the water reuse program to help preserve the beautiful local estuary and coastline.

Ventura Water initiated the project to eliminate the current chlorine-based wastewater treatment process and attain greater efficiency and sustainability. Ventura Water managers and engineers, as part of their continuous efforts to lower costs and protect the environment, identified PTGs technology as a potential solution, and developed a set of criteria to evaluate new technology to replace the citys existing wastewater disinfection process.

PTGs technology was identified as the lowest-cost alternative in a study led by Carollo Engineers, who are experts in wastewater engineering. This study resulted in the decision to install a PTG evaluation unit, which is currently processing 500,000 gallons of wastewater per day, and offers the potential to scale up to 20 million gallons of wastewater per day. Since December 2011, the evaluation unit has been undergoing extensive tests to prove that it meets the Ventura Water Reclamation Facilitys stringent standards for water safety while offering the potential to reduce the facilitys operating costs.

Highlights of the initial evaluation phase:

The PTG system is successfully disinfecting Venturas wastewater, meeting Californias Title 22 standards for water disinfection, rendering it safe for non-potable re-use.

The PTG system can deliver significant cost savings for Ventura. Total electricity costs to power the facility are currently approximately $ 900,000 per year. Because the PTG system efficiently utilizes waste heat and reuses energy, early estimates show that the system may generate enough energy to power itself and the entire facility at about half of today's cost.

Eliminating chlorine from the disinfection process delivers additional cost savings. Disinfection chemicals currently cost Ventura approximately $ 250,000 per year, and there are also significant staff costs associated with chemical handling and emergency preparedness.

With this phase completed, Ventura Water will now begin additional testing and optimization to determine specific design options, possibly taking advantage of more biogas and/or expanding co-generation opportunities. Final design and construction would follow completion of this phase.

"Ventura Water is continually seeking improvement of our treatment and operational processes, said Ventura Water General Manager Shana Epstein. We are pleased to be partnering in this important project that is demonstrating effective disinfection without chemicals as well as a potential for significant operational savings, if fully implemented, down the road.

The innovative design and operational efficiency of this technology interested us immediately, said Ventura Water Wastewater Utility Manager Dan Pfeifer. Over the course of the next few months, we will be optimizing the system to maximize efficiency and minimize costs while planning the next steps.

Were extremely excited to be working with Ventura Water on this innovative project, said Greg Ryan, co-founder and CEO of Pasteurization Technology Group. The system has been processing more than 15 million gallons per month during this initial testing phase and has met or exceeded all the goals we set. We look forward to the next phase of the process, which will validate that PTGs technology can significantly reduce operating costs while transitioning Ventura Water to a chemical-free approach to wastewater disinfection.

Innovative wastewater treatment technology is toxin-free and generates clean energy

PTGs technology is the first and only to combine wastewater disinfection with renewable-energy generation. PTGs patented technology can use the digester gas (often referred to as biogas, a natural by-product of wastewater treatment) as fuel to drive a turbine that generates renewable electricity that can offset the electivity consumed by a typical wastewater treatment plant. The hot exhaust air from the turbine (energy that is typically wasted) is then passed through a series of heat exchangers that increase the temperature of the wastewater to a level that disinfects the wastewater stream. PTGs technology is significantly more cost-effective and more energy-efficient than other methods. And, unlike other wastewater disinfection approaches, PTGs systems do not require toxic chemicals such as chlorine, or costly electrical power and expensive UV lamps.

About Ventura Water

Ventura Water, the City of Venturas Water Department, is dedicated to serving our beautiful coastal community with quality drinking water and water reclamation services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Delivering drinking water from local sources since 1923, cleaning water for more than a century, and preventing storm-water pollution for the past two decades, we support Venturas vitality. Our goal is to integrate water management to create long-term health and economic benefits for our community. As financial stewards, our goals are to operate and use resources efficiently, understand and meet the needs of our customers, and protect our infrastructure by investing wisely in maintenance and renewal projects. We believe that true water sustainabilitywhere the needs of the human population and the environment can live in balancewill be achieved only when choices are made collectively to use water efficiently in all ways to restore our watersheds and protect our childrens future.

About Pasteurization Technology Group

Located in San Leandro, California, Pasteurization Technology Group is a venture-capital backed company that is revolutionizing the disinfection of wastewater. PTGs systems utilize its patented two-for-one technology that combines wastewater disinfection with the generation of renewable energy. PTGs process is one of only a handful of technologies to pass the stringent standards of Title 22 in the state of California for the disinfection of water for reuse. By channeling the typically wasted exhaust heat from a turbine to disinfect wastewater, PTGs process is the most energy-efficient and lowest-cost solution on the market. PTG won the 2011 BlueTech


SilverTech Launches Online Solution for Largest Water Utility in North America

SilverTech Launches Online Solution for Largest Water Utility in North America

Manchester, NH (PRWEB) April 25, 2008

The online solution launched today includes a corporate American Water website, fifty unique satellite websites for each American Water state or subsidiary, database and application integration, an e-mail marketing and reporting system, and stand-alone interactive branding tools such as a touch screen kiosk that serves as a virtual educational demonstration.

The new websites were developed by SilverTech following six months of in-depth strategic planning during which SilverTech and American Water teams determined how best to market and promote regulated and non-regulated services and products on the website, as well as how to integrate data and website management capabilities globally.

"We relied on SilverTech's strategic recommendations, as well as creative and development expertise to really drive this project," said Kimberly Selby, brand manager for American Water. "We are more than happy with the end result and we are confident that this is the right solution to take our company to the next level."

The websites were developed and customized to integrate with many of the client's existing infrastructure and internal systems such as: Percussion's Rhythmyx, a leading third-party content management solution;, an online investor relations and communications solution; and PeopleClick, an employee recruiting tool. The new websites also facilitate content and document sharing, as well as posting and distribution features based on assigned permission levels. SilverTech provided on-site training for all website management tools so that designated American Water employees can easily and affordably update the website as needed.

"The best thing about this project is that we were able to reach out across the entire American Water enterprise--which is giant--to almost every department, every satellite and subsidiary, and to all key third party partners. This allowed us to ensure that the completed online solution made good business sense from all perspectives," stated Jeff McPherson, SilverTech's client services director.

American Water continues to work with SilverTech on add-on features to the new websites, which will be implemented at future intervals. The corporate American Water website can be found at For more information about SilverTech, visit its website at or call 603-669-6600.

About SilverTech Inc.

SilverTech, Inc. is a New England-based interactive agency that expertly solves online marketing, technology, operations, fundraising, and communication challenges for businesses by creating value-driven web, digital and data-powered solutions. Services such as strategic consultation, site architecture, website design & development, multimedia graphics & animation, search engine optimization, online marketing, performance analysis, web application development and content management solutions are designed or customized to fit exact business requirements.

SilverTech clients include American Water, Capital One, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, The Common Man Family of Restaurants, Life is Good®, Union Leader Corporation, State of New Hampshire, and Pizza Fusion, among many others. For more information contact SilverTech at .



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