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 match.com 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 www.imagineh2o.org.

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: wbrent@webershandwick.com

SOURCE Imagine H2O

Rappahannock River Sediment Around Fredericksburg Leads to Concerns

As of April 2012, the City of Fredericksburg, VA was negotiating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the scope and budget of a study of the Rappahannock River’s build-up of sediment, which continues to hinder aquatic life, raise concerns that it could make floods worse, and impair the use of the city’s riverboat.  Even though about 300,000 cubic yards of accumulated sediment was removed prior to the breaching of Embrey Dam (upstream of the city) in 2004, the sediment problem around the city seems to have worsened since then and complaints have been raised that more sediment should have been removed along the dam.  Various local organizations, such as the Friends of the Rappahannock and the Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority, have identified river sediment as a problem.  Amidst these developments, a Stafford County man and his Tennessee partner have proposed a three-year plan to remove about one million cubic yards of sediment from a five-mile stretch of river, at no cost to the City.  The men propose to sell commercially valuable sand and gravel that would be included in the removed material.

Source: 
Blog post by araflo April 25, 2012
Virginia Water Central News Grouper

Minnesota Sealant Firm Take Stand VS. Pollution

Source:  Star Tribune
By:  David Shaffer
March 2, 2012

An Eagan-based company that is a national leader in driveway coating said Friday that it will stop using coal-tar-based sealants to help curb chemical pollution in stormwater ponds.

Jet-Black International said its franchisees in Minnesota and Wisconsin will switch to newly developed asphalt-based coatings by next year. The company said it also has recommended that its franchisees in 10 other states make the switch.

“We are concerned that continued use of coal-tar sealants will lead to unsustainable and costly pond clean-ups at the expense of the citizens of Minnesota,” the company said in a statement.

The company’s voluntary switch is a victory for pollution control officials, who have campaigned to end the use of coal-tar-based sealants, long an industry standard. An estimated 85 million gallons of the sealants are sold annually.

“They are doing the responsible thing,” said Tom Ennis, an engineer who works for the city of Austin, Texas, and tracks the issue on a blog called Coal Tar-Free America. “It is what we who have worked on the science have been waiting for. If the industry just looks at the facts and stops arguing, then real progress can happen.”

The Pavement Coatings Technology Council, a Virginia-based trade group for 20 manufacturers of the coatings, continues to dispute the science, contending that other sources such as wood smoke and exhaust are the real problem.

But environmental officials say the sealants break down, leaching into the environment a class of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), linked to cancer. Increasingly, officials say, PAHs are turning up in the sediment of stormwater ponds, boosting disposal costs when ponds are periodically dredged by cities.

Some large retailers, including Lowe’s and Home Depot, have stopped selling the coal-tar sealants. The state of Washington and Washington, D.C., have banned them, as have communities in several states, including 13 in Minnesota.

Jet-Black co-owner Nick Kelso said he became convinced that coal-tar products were a source of pollution after reviewing the science. He said the company, with 125 Minnesota employees and $5.2 million in sales last year, is the largest asphalt-maintenance company in the world.

“This debate is no longer about theories mired in political rhetoric from all sides,” Jet-Black said in a statement.

At its annual winter franchisee convention last week, Jet-Black heard no opposition to the change, Kelso said. New asphalt emulsions, which are not linked to pollution, have been improved, making them as durable as the coal-tar versions, he added.

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.

Sincerely,
Mike Jackson, Assistant City Manager

Letter from the City of Mount Rainier >

$300 Million Chesapeake Bay Bond Stalls in Virginia House

Source:  dailypress.com
Written by:  Cory Nealon
February 9, 2012

Virginia lawmakers declined to back a $300 million bond package that would fund wastewater treatmet plant improvements in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.   The bond, which passed unanimously in the Senate, hit a wall Wednesday in the House of Delegates.  An Appropriations subcommittee voted to shelve the matter until next year.

The decision is a setback for environmental groups, localities, sewer authorities and others that want to use bonds to help pay for upgrades that would reduce nitrogen and phosphorus discharges in the bay and its tributaries.

The legislation springs from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 15-year effort to restore water quality in the bay, where algae blooms, fish kills, and beach closures occur every year.

The EPA directed six watershed states, including Virginia and the District of Columbia, to devise ways to reduce pollution.  In addition to targeting wastewater treatment plants, states are clamping down on agricultural operations, stormwater runoff and other sources.

Read more . . .
http://www.dailypress.com/news/science/dead-rise-blog/dp-300-million-chesapeake-bay-bond-stalls-in-virginia-house-20120209,0,7285446.story