Water reuse
Water storage
Americas
Wednesday, 15 December 2021

San Francisco start-up backed to lead in-building water reuse movement

The future of water reuse could be in commercial building basements as Epic Cleantec raises $9.4 million to accelerate on-site water treatment facilities.

The solution beneath our feet

It is perhaps fitting that a start-up from a US city mandating large commercial buildings to reuse their water has secured investment to help lead this movement.

Decentralised water reuse start-up, Epic Cleantec, has secured $9.4 million in funding to further develop its water treatment and reuse technology.

The water treatment company, which was founded in 2015, has designed a process whereby an on-site water treatment system is installed in the basement of a building to treat and recycle both greywater and wastewater throughout the day.

After treatment, the purified water can then be used within the building for purposes including toilet flushing and plant irrigation.

"When it comes to how we design our water and wastewater infrastructure, we’ve essentially done things the same way for 200 years.”

Epic Cleantec believes its approach can help a building reuse up to 95 per cent of its water.

"When it comes to how we design our water and wastewater infrastructure, we’ve essentially done things the same way for 200 years,” said co-founder and CEO, Aaron Tartakovsky.

“Yet with the combined challenges of urban population growth, ageing infrastructure, and climate change, the status quo simply won’t keep up."

San Francisco mandating the way

Epic Cleantec said that its systems can also incorporate additional resource recovery elements, converting wastewater into carbon-rich soil products and reusing wastewater heat for onsite renewable energy.

In 2015, San Francisco became the first city in the US to require large new buildings to install and run water reuse systems to capture dirty water from pipes and rainwater to be used for flushing and irrigation. If a building is 250,000 square-foot or greater in size, then it must have one of these water recycling systems installed.

One example frequently cited is American cloud-based software company, Salesforce, which has a reuse system that saves 30,000 gallons of freshwater a day equalling 7.8 million gallons in a year.

We can’t rely on the rains

In 2018 the global wastewater market was worth $695 million, according to the CERO Investment report on distributed wastewater treatment and water reuse.

Cero also found that currently there are over 5,000 emerging waste and wastewater technology companies.

This recent round of financing was led by the family office of Dr Kathy Fields and Dr Garry Rayant, along with J-Ventures, J-Impact and investors from the previous round of funding.

Over the course of the last 18 months, Epic has signed several major contracts while expanding its partnerships with companies in the real estate sector.

“In the 21st century, we should not have to rely on whether or not it rains to know if we’ll have enough water for our communities.”

These moves come as the company seeks to expand its technology offering to both industrial, commercial and residential homes.

“In the 21st century, we should not have to rely on whether or not it rains to know if we’ll have enough water for our communities,” said Oded Hermoni, general partner at J-Ventures.

“With smart water infrastructure, we can predictably reuse and supply water where and when people need it. Epic is at the forefront of water innovation and will lead the way in building the sustainable, water-secure cities of the future.”

Innovation via competition

This new injection of cash comes after the company was a recent finalist in Imagine H20's Urban Water Challenge.

“Last year's winner, Field Factors, was awarded $100,000 for its rainwater reuse solution.”

The competition was designed to help deploy innovative water technologies around the globe.

Imagine H20 awarded over $300,000 in funding for water projects in its bid to help in the acceleration of being water resilient cities.

Last year's winner, Field Factors, was awarded $100,000 for its rainwater reuse solution.

 


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