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CityBusiness 2003 Innovator of the Year

MECO, a leader in the water purification industry, was named the 2003 Innovator of the Year by New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine. The award was given to the New Orleans-based firm in part for its development of the innovative “Cajun Canteen” purification system for the U.S. military.

“The project had quite a few challenges, but our team really stepped up and delivered,” said George Gsell, president of MECO. “Receiving this award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the tremendous effort and thought that went into the solution.”

Pure Genius.

The Cajun Canteen is a mobile water purification system that can process seawater with a salinity of 45,000 parts per million, which is typical of the Persian Gulf. “This unit can take any water source and make drinking water,” said Stephen Rome, Cajun Canteen’s project manager. In addition to Rome, the team also includes Thomas Fiut Jr., Kyaw Moe, Scott Smith and Nathen Matherne.

Water on wheels.

The Cajun Canteen’s strength is its mobility. Each unit weighs less than 2,000 pounds, including a generator, and can fit comfortably in the back of a Humvee or in the cargo bay of a Blackhawk Helicopter. A properly trained solider can set up one in 45 minutes and produce 125 gallons per hour on fresh or brackish water, and 75 gallons per hour on high-salinity water. The Canteen is also designed to purify nearly all surface and ground water even if contaminated with nuclear, biological or chemical contaminates.

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