The Water Council is pleased to announce three winners for its fall 2021 Tech Challenge, chosen by industry leaders to help solve real challenges in the water sector.

The Water Council’s Tech Challenge connects water innovators with leading water technology companies, facilitating potential partnerships and helping new ideas and technologies gain exposure in the industry. The fall 2021 challenge sought solutions for three topics: Internet of Things (IOT)-enabled water quality sensors, microbial control technologies and innovations that reduce operating expenditures in aerobic wastewater treatment.

The challenge’s sponsors, A. O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter, Watts Water Technologies and Xylem,  selected the three winners to receive $10,000 prizes. CAVinTace (Istanbul, Turkey) was selected by Xylem as the winner of the challenge to reduce operating expenditures in aerobic wastewater treatment. CAVinTace’s solution is a novel pretreatment approach for aerobic and anaerobic digestions via micro scale hydrodynamic cavitation.

A. O. Smith, Badger Meter and Watts selected winners for the other two topic areas. Anthony Dichiara (Seattle, Washington) was selected as the winner of the Internet of Things-enabled water quality sensing topic. Dichiara is working on a cellulosic paper project, which with its bio-renewable and hygroscopic nature provides an excellent platform for building sustainable and affordable water sensors with superior performance.

Vienna Water Monitoring Solutions (Vienna, Austria) was selected as the winner of the microbial control topic for its ColiMinder technology. ColiMinder is an instrument for rapid and fully automatic measurements of bacterial contamination in water, providing a result in 15 minutes, enabling continuous monitoring of microbiological water quality in water treatment and distribution.

Xylem became the newest sponsor of the Tech Challenge for the fall round. “We found great benefit in increasing our engagement with The Water Council by participating in the Tech Challenge,” said Mike Maierle, Director, Global Treatment Project Execution at Xylem. “The competition provided valuable insights and an interesting pipeline of applications.”

This round of the Tech Challenge was especially impressive for its global representation, with applications submitted from 17 countries. Almost all the solutions submitted were previously unknown to the sponsors. This was also the first time the challenge involved three topics, offering more opportunities to connect innovative solutions to companies that can use them.