Left to right: Aquacycl founder Orianna Bretschger and Karina Pena, co-founder and CEO of Field Factors, winners of the Audience Choice Award.

Wavin Invests $50,000 in Aquacycl High Strength Wastewater Treatment

April 18, 2023
Four additional water technology company founders pitched their solutions to a panel of judges.

BOSTON, MA – Orbia’s Building and Infrastructure business Wavin, a global water technology leader, announced today that it has awarded $50,000 in non-dilutive capital to Aquacycl, an energy-neutral wastewater treatment technology company. 

Aquacycl founder Orianna Bretschger won The Boiling Point Challenge, a pitch competition co-hosted by Orbia’s Wavin business and Imagine H2O,  that was part of Orbia’s sustainability strategy at the United Nations (UN) 2023 Water Conference and New York Water Week in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation.

Aquacycl offers a unique technology to rapidly treat high-strength wastewater, eliminate primary sludge, and recover energy as direct electricity without producing any methane. In 2021, the California-based startup deployed its technology with one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies: a sector that produces 1.4 billion liters of wastewater in the US alone.

Winning Combination

“We’re pleased to invest in new water technologies for North America that help solve the need for clean and safe water while moving the needle on meeting UN water goals,” said Courtney Fretz Obregon, Vice President and General Manager of Orbia Building and Infrastructure (Wavin) North America. “Aquacycl is an exemplar of Water Solutions for Climate, Environment and Resilience, one of the UN Water Conference’s thematic areas. It has the winning combination of breakthrough innovation, a sustainable business model and strong market adoption. Congratulations to the Aquacycl team.”  

“We were thrilled to collaborate with Orbia’s Wavin business on the Boiling Point Challenge to showcase promising solutions accelerating progress towards the UN water goals,” said Kelly Trott, Vice President of Imagine H2Oa global 501c3 water innovation accelerator. “By partnering with innovative and sustainability-focused businesses like Wavin, we can drive the adoption of solutions that have a meaningful impact on ensuring access to clean water for all.”

Competing Concepts

Four additional water technology company founders pitched their solutions to a panel of judges from Orbia, Aqualateral, the World Economic Forum, Burnt Island Ventures and Dhaka Wasa. Each company’s concepts aligned to one of the UN 2023 Water Conference thematic areas and included: 

  • Water for Sustainable Development: Field Factors offers rainwater treatment and storage technology and is a compact, circular system for rainwater treatment, storage, and reuse in urban areas that captures 95% of rainwater. The company is based in Delft, Netherlands and was awarded a $10,000 prize as the Boiling Point audience favorite.
  • Water for Health: Blue Conduit accelerates lead service line (LSL) inventory and replacement through a machine learning-enabled platform that accurately predicts and prioritizes LSL locations. The company is based in Michigan, USA.
  • Water for Cooperation: Epic Cleantec offers onsite water recycling technology that can help offset up to 95% of potable water demands by treating and reusing blackwater and greywater for non-potable uses. The company is based in California, USA.
  • Water Action Decade: Puraffinity develops targeted materials for water treatment, focused on removing PFAS, the forever chemicals from water. The company is based in London, UK.

As part of the event, Wavin hosted its first US Wavin WaterTech Forum, with keynotes featuring Dutch "aquapreneur" Friso Klapwijk, who pioneered a system to transform unused urban flat roofs into a smart grid for rainwater capture and green space, and RainKeep artist Allison Newsome, recognized in 2022’s Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards. Both discussed how nature-based solutions inspire circular water design.

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