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New Startups Causing Waves in the Wastewater Industry

Innovative technology and wastewater knowledge are a killer combo if you want to tap into the wealth of the $600 billion wastewater industry. In fact, even actors are quietly backing environmentally enhancing wastewater technologies. Baswood, a company hailing from sunny Santa Barbara, California, is supported by Hollywood star Edward Norton who is a large advocate for sustainability. The company was founded in 2004 by microbiologist and inventor Paul Baskis to commercialize patented technologies for biological waste treatment.
Baskis studied riverine environments that effectively broke down organic materials and made an innovative system to imitate these processes. The company oozes passion about the environment and its principles make sense. Baswood strives to provide cheaper alternatives to technologies that have large energy footprints with high costs of operation. Alicia Rogers, Marketing Representative of Baswood, believes it is the environmentally conscious founders of the company that inspires Baswood to positively impact sustainability, water quality and energy efficiency.

Actor, environmentalist and Baswood Chairman Edward Norton, and Michael Walker, CEO of Baswood, talk about why waste management is such a critical issue for sustainability.
Show me the money
Some of you may be thinking: “But what about all the claims about how it is impossible to make money in the wastewater industry?” According to Lux Research this simply isn’t true. A review of 150 companies found that average operating profits are a sweet 12.9%. In fact, the industry isn’t just big for North American competitors, but foreign companies too. Emefcy is an Israeli company that develops modular technologies for wastewater treatment and was named in the 2013 Global Cleantech 100.
Like many inspiring entrepreneur stories, the founders had an idea and took a leap of faith. “We came across a publication about microbial fuel cells (MFC) and (realized) that the scale-up and cost reduction challenge is what we (wanted) to do,” describes CEO of Emefcy, Eytan Levy. Clearly Levy walks the talk: “This technology, which is now close to commercialization, is called EBR (Electrogenic Bio-Reactor). An additional technology, SABRE (Spiral Aerobic Biofilm Reactor), is a spin-off technology of EBR, and it treats wastewater with virtually no power consumption.”
Eytan Levy
Eytan Levy, CEO of Emefcy.
When you know better, you do better
The thread that pulls all of these wastewater tech companies together is their genuine desire to make the world a better place. BioGill, an Australian company that sells above-ground bioreactors for wastewater treatment and water recycling, know what they do makes a difference: “We are excited about what we do, and we know that we can have a direct impact in improving the lives of many people including those in the developing world where sanitation is a major factor.” describes Annie West, executive assistant to senior management at BioGill.
With 3.4 million people dying every year from water related diseases (almost the entire population of Los Angeles), the world needs all the aid it can get from wastewater tech companies like BioGill. Interestingly BioGill technology was invented by Australian Government scientists as a means to grow positive bacteria used in penicillin and antibiotics. The company BioGill was formed in 2009 to commercialize the technology, as it decided that wastewater was a faster and less expensive route to market. And boy, were they on to something impressive. Check out this video below about their amazing membrane technology.


0ba8618 Aisha Tejani
Aisha Tejani is a contributing writer of Castagra Products, a storage tank and wastewater coatings manufacturing company that is highly acclaimed for its sustainable coatings and cold weather coating applications. Castagra products are NSF-61 certified and are used by the world’s top water and wastewater contractors.