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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. and STUTTGART, Germany -- DaimlerChrysler's manufacturing
facility in Toluca, Mexico, home of the new Chrysler PT Cruiser, will open a
state-of-the-art wastewater recycling facility later this year.
The recycling facility will conserve precious water resources and reduce the
potential for pollution by totally recycling all of the water used in the plant.
Toluca will become the third DaimlerChrysler facility to achieve total water
recycling: the first two are the Saltillo Engine Plant and Saltillo Truck Plant
that began Total Water Recycle Systems in 1994 and 1995, respectively.
When the new system is launched later in 2000, not one drop of water will be
released from the Toluca plant, dramatically reducing the potential for
pollution to reach the nearby Lerma River system, the most extensive in Mexico.
In addition, the total reuse of water inside the plant means the facility
draws less water from the Toluca region's dwindling aquifer.
Toluca's underground aquifer, which supplies water to residents and industry,
is dropping at a rate of more than six feet per year. Total recycling ensures
that production at the plant will not be limited by the lack of water in the
"With this facility, we are making sure that our plant will have minimal
impact on the environment and on the water supply, not just in Toluca but across
the region," said Neil McKay, DaimlerChrysler senior manager of Wastewater
Planning and Compliance. "At the same time we are meeting our environmental
responsibilities, we also are ensuring that our plant will continue to operate
without being constrained by the limited water supply in the region."
The Toluca facility employs 7,000 workers and includes four separate engine,
transmission, stamping and assembly plants.
As part of the total recycling of water, the $17 million wastewater facility
at Toluca will be able to treat more than 2,200,000 liters (approximately
610,000 gallons) of water each day, enough to fill 10 medium-sized baseball
stadiums. The treatment process is complicated by the fact that the water supply
is high in silica, which clogs water pipes and is hard on wastewater treatment
Wastewater from DaimlerChrysler's manufacturing plants is treated by two
* The Sanitary Water System biologically treats wastewater from restrooms,
showers, cafeterias, dishwashers and other domestic areas of the plants.
* The Manufacturing Process Water System chemically treats wastewater mixed
with heavy metals and paints from the assembly plant. It also treats wastewater
fixed with emulsified and free-floating oils from the engine, transmission and
An extensive computer system monitors the wastewater treatment plant and the
remote lift stations at the Toluca complex. Workers skilled in hydraulics,
mechanics, electronics, computer software, biology, microbiology and chemistry
operate the treatment plant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to insure proper
operating procedures and environmental protection.
As a result, DaimlerChrysler's water quality standards in Toluca are stricter
than those set by the State of Mexico and the U.S. Environmental Protection