PaveDrain wins Imagine H2O International Competition

March 21, 2013
Source: Press Release by H20 distributed by PRNewswire via COMTEX

Imagine H2O Names Winners of Consumer Innovations Prize

Annual Competition Recognizes World’s Most Promising Water Startups

SAN FRANCISCO, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Imagine H2O, a global organization that spurs water solutions by advancing entrepreneurship and innovation, today announced the winners of its fourth annual business plan competition focused on Consumer Innovation. Awards were given to companies solving a range of critical water challenges, including leak prevention, stormwater drainage, landscaping water efficiency and bottom-of-the-pyramid water distribution.

The winners of Imagine H2O’s international competition, revealed at a gala event at the Autodesk Gallery, included Leak Defense Alert for the pre-revenue track, with Dlo Haiti and Innogation named runners up in the same category. PaveDrain won the competition’s early revenue track.”These companies provide solutions that will make a difference in an individual’s everyday water use,” said Gary Kremen, a Silicon Valley angel investor, water district official and Imagine H2O judge. “Once again, Imagine H2O has identified promising early-stage water startups and will offer the winners with a path-to-market opportunity.” Kremen is the first investor and board member at WaterSmart Software; a company identified by Imagine H2O’s inaugural competition in 2009. Imagine H2O has attracted leading innovators like Kremen, who founded and Clean Power Finance, to support the world’s need for water innovation.

Imagine H2O focused this year’s competition on Consumer Innovation as a way to catalyze and support entrepreneurial solutions related to a variety of water opportunities including point-of-use filtration, residential efficiency, onsite reuse and recycling, outdoor irrigation, monitoring and other residential or personal solutions. The consumer water innovations sector also represents a large opportunity to bottom-of-the-pyramid companies focusing solutions on issues in water quality and scarcity in developing countries. According to Scott Bryan, the Chief Operating Officer at Imagine H2O, “Consumer demand for products ensuring safety and improved efficiency will expand as water resources become more scarce. As a result, we are optimistic about the opportunity for promising entrepreneurs to deliver innovative products and services into the consumer market.”The competition’s winners will join Imagine H2O’s Accelerator Program where they will receive market insight, connections and business resources. “In the near future, we at Leak Defense Alert hope that every home will have our system, and we look forward to working with Imagine H2O to realize this dream,” stated Scott Pallais, the CEO of Leak Defense Alert.

Doug Buch, the founder of PaveDrain said, “We’re really excited by our product and believe that the Imagine H2O Accelerator Program will facilitate key connections to scale our business.”The winners were chosen from a competitive selection of finalists by Imagine H2O’s judging panel, a group of leading experts and investors in the water sector. The business plan competition’s winners were selected based on their commercial viability and promise. This year’s prize attracted over 70 startups from 12 countries led by serial entrepreneurs, experienced executives and graduate students. Several private foundations and corporate sponsors; including Headline Sponsor, Wells Fargo, support Imagine H2O’s competition and business accelerator.

About Imagine H2O
Imagine H2O inspires and empowers people to solve water challenges and turn them into opportunities. We offer annual business plan competitions for water innovation focused on critical water challenges including Water Efficiency (2009), the Water Energy Nexus (2010), Wastewater (2011) and Consumer Innovations (2012). In addition to cash prizes for the best ideas, Imagine H2O fosters an accelerator program to help competing entrepreneurs turn their plans into game-changing, real-world solutions. To learn more about Imagine H2O’s global ecosystem for water innovation and connect with water innovators from around the world, please visit

Also connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Mark Humberstone Imagine H2O Phone: (415) 828-6344 Email: mark@imagineh2o.orgWilliam Brent Weber Shandwick Phone: (415) 262-5986 Email:

SOURCE Imagine H2O

Green Incentives Provide Catalyst For Ford’s Drainage And Pavement Upgrade

Source: Luckett & Farley, by Adam Meyer, PE, LEED AP


Doug Buch, PaveDrain, (414) 423-6531
Brendan Quinn, Ernest Maier Block, (301) 927-8300

Hitch in the Giddy Up

What do you mean there are no catch basins in the entire parking lot?!

Ford Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) Ford Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP)

This predicament at the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) was more than troubling to a Luckett & Farley engineer. It was puzzling.

So then how does-? You mean all the rain just-? And so that’s why the pavement is so-? Eeeek.

It was the reaction I always imagine the Spartans had upon seeing Xerxes’ vast army: “What have we got ourselves into?”

Since moving to its current location off Fern Valley Rd. in 1955, the Ford Motor Company has expanded to nearly 3.2 million square feet on 400 acres. It is now the home to the next generation of Ford Escapes, and has undergone a $600 million renovation to transform it into the “most flexible automotive assembly operation in the world. “Not only is it now one of the most high-tech facilities in all the land, but it may also have the largest installation of over-sized trench drains ever seen. (Note: not yet confirmed, but the jury is still out if you ask us!)

That is because aside from the facelift and complete retooling, there was the matter of rehabilitating, restriping, and reorganizing their parking lots – all 2,000,000 SF of them. Though a daunting task on its own, the mission elevated even further when it was evident that fixing the drainage (and therefore failing pavement) would be out of the budget’s reach. All of the lots needed resurfacing and they needed to last. A Civil Engineer’s dream (er, nightmare?) Conditions: A flat site, limited funding, a challenging solution, and a brand spanking new toy.

Enter PaveDrain pervious articulated mat paving, and the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District’s (MSD) Green Infrastructure Incentives Program. Hmm – that didn’t quite roll off the tongue like I had hoped for, but alas, I’m an engineer.

The Spark Plug

Easy installation of PaveDrain articulating mat being lowered into position Easy installation of PaveDrain articulating mat being lowered into position

Beginning in the summer of 2011, MSD began a pilot program to incentivize Louisville property owners to install Green Infrastructure applications that could handle the stormwater that falls on their site. (See: Rain Gardens, Pervious Pavement, Rainwater Harvesting, et al). Finding themselves in a no-fault Consent Decree settlement with the U.S. EPA, MSD saw an opportunity to fix the community’s Combined Sewer problem while also jump-starting economic development. The basis of the Program comes down to this: Businesses can either fix their flooding problems for little-to-no additional cost, or choose not to. The Ford Louisville Assembly Plant decided to do the former. Working with MSD staff, Luckett & Farley help Ford secure a nearly $1.3 million incentive stipend if the pavement restoration project included sufficient Green Infrastructure. That task wasn’t exactly simple though. The other side of the deal required Ford to store 533,000 gallons of rain in the parking lot on any given day – in a floodplain. Though the numbers and technical data all said it could be done, the school of construction thought still gave us all pause.

We are going to need an Olympic-size swimming pool out there!

Yep, that’s about right.

The Keys to Success

In the long history of Luckett & Farley’s existence (happily Over-the-Hill at 160 years!), there have been countless designs for sustainable drainage improvements at an existing site. Pervious concrete/pavers, underground storage, and detention/retention systems have all been done before, but this was different. We needed something HUGE, shallow, and cost-effective. It needed to serve as a drainage feature, a pavement solution, is quick to install, and not require any special training or equipment. Those conditions were all met with a new-to-market product called PaveDrain, the permeable articulated block mat paving system. Think of a bunch of concrete Legos that are strung together in a rectangular fashion. There’s no grout/mortar/gravel chips, no curing time, no rolling, or extensive cutting. Along with a low-profile (2″ Tall) drain tile, Luckett & Farley engineers designed 25 installations of shallow pits (think swimming pools!) filled with gravel as PaveDrain let stormwater flow through on top. The result is an underground storage system that allows the 1″ Rainfall Event to never leave the Ford property. More than 855,000 SF of pavement is being collected by the PaveDrain installations. The water will eventually infiltrate into the soil, providing for additional capacity in the MSD sewer system and therefore reduce the possibility of a flooding event in the downstream communities. In addition, the employee parking area now drains effectively and will last far longer than standard asphalt pavement.

In a sense, the parking lot went from no catch basins to having more than 86,000 SF of them. Talk about a real “EcoBoost!”

PaveDrain installation: The finished product PaveDrain installation: The finished product

Letter from the City of Mount Rainier

Dear Brendan,

We wanted to tell you that the City of Mount Rainier is delighted with the PaveDrain system that you installed at our new municipal lot and an alley adjacent to the lot. We had issues with “stormwater runoff” and the Pavedrain has done a tremendous job of reducing runoff. Although it has only been in place for two months, it has retained all of the rainfall on it and also retains the runoff from adjoining properties.

We like the system so much that we just completed a grant application to have an additional 50,000 square feet of intersections and alleys done in Pavedrain. We look forward to doing more business with your company and its products in the near future.

Mike Jackson, Assistant City Manager

Letter from the City of Mount Rainier >

Study: Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Could Create 230,000 jobs

Source:   Written by:  Dick Uliano

WASHINGTON  — Environmentalists devoted to restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay say cleaning the bay not only will produce more crabs and oysters, but also create almost a quarter of a million jobs.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation issued a report on Tuesday that is aimed at “debunking the myth” that environmental regulations kill jobs.  “If you look across Maryland, Virginia, the other Chesapeake Bay states, it’s predicted that 230,000 jobs will be created to help reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay,” says Will Baker, foundation president.  “It’s a cynical myth that cleaning up the water and the air kills jobs.”

The projections include engineering and construction jobs and also rely on a multiplier effect — jobs created as a result of increased economic activity based on the improvements.

In December 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland, Virginia, four other states and D.C. to reduce pollution flow into the bay by 25 percent by 2025.

But with the economy slumping and the unemployment rate high, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., warned in a memo last August that environmental regulations are hampering job creation.

A 2001 study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Michael Greenstone found that two decades of clean air amendments aimed at polluting plants caused a loss of 600,000 jobs.

But the foundation’s report, “Debunking the ‘Job Loss’ Myth,” says Chesapeake Bay cleanup and monitoring jobs increased by 43 percent across the region between 1990 and 2009.

Virginia and Maryland are expected to invest as much as $3 billion over the next 15
years building and upgrading 147 sewage treatment plants.  Construction also is underway on stormwater pollution control devices that catch and filter rain water.

Montgomery County is spending $305 million on such systems to limit pollution into the
bay.  “These are programs which require good technology to be put in place, they have to create jobs,” Baker says.