The Pilot Program facilitates in-field testing for water technologies at real-world demonstration sites to accelerate the progression of new products from lab to practical application to commercialization.
The Water Council’s Pilot Program offers water technology innovators the opportunity to conduct in-field proof-of-concept testing at real-world demonstration sites. Field testing is a critical phase in the progression of new water solutions from the lab to practical application to commercialization. Through the funding support of Wells Fargo, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), Fund for Lake Michigan and the Israel Innovation Authority, the Pilot Program provides services, potential sites and funding to help validate new, cutting-edge products and move them from prototype to production and manufacturing.
Selected projects must address specific challenges identified by the funding entities while maintaining a cost-efficient, scalable and deployable model. An independent third party establishes and monitors test benchmarks and milestones to ensure accurate measures of success. The Pilot Program is open to all members of The Water Council (TWC), from small to large, established businesses. Since 2015, the program has awarded $608,000 to nine companies to help pilot their technologies in Wisconsin. In 2019, the first Wisconsin Pilot demonstration of an Israeli water technology through the Israel Innovation Authority and MMSD will occur. As with all TWC competitions, potential Pilot Program participants can submit their applications through WaterTechHub.com.
“The Water Council’s Pilot Program has given my small business the opportunity to implement its biogas purification technology in the real world and prove that it works.”
–Bryan Johnson, Principal, Energy Tech Innovations LLC
Director of Entrepreneurship
Energy Tech Innovations (Mukwonago, WI) – A graduate of the BREW Accelerator in 2016, Energy Tech Innovations has developed a water-based gas treatment that can be applied to wastewater treatment facilities. This treatment converts biogas during the digestion process into a renewable natural gas that lowers energy costs.
Harbor District (Milwaukee, WI) – A non-profit leading the revitalization of Milwaukee’s Inner Harbor, Harbor District designed “Habitat Hotels” that create a habitable space for aquatic species. Using fryer baskets lined with aquatic vegetation, these habitats fit perfectly along the sheet piling and support aquatic life.
OptikTechnik (Milwaukee, WI) – A graduate of the BREW Accelerator in 2015, founders Jose Ramirez and UWM professor Rudi Strickler have designed an automated system that will replace an otherwise manual process in wastewater treatment. Using optical sensors, moisture levels in cake sludge are monitored and regulated and in turn minimizing energy costs and maximizing efficiency within the wastewater treatment process.
STAR Water Solutions (North Sydney, Australia) – Using sustainable materials, STAR Water Solutions has created an advanced bio-filtration system that works in urban, industrial, agriculture and mining markets and lasts 3-4 times longer than the common sand filter.
Stormwater Solutions Engineering, LLC (Milwaukee, WI) – Founded in 2002 to provide drainage and stormwater design to clients of many types, Stormwater Solutions Engineering has a new product innovation called “The StormGUARDen.” The StormGUARDen is a composite material planter placed at the end of an outside downspout that can reduce the potential for overflows to basements that can occur with rain barrels by holding 8x more water. It is a stormwater device that is modular and removable, and designed for easy maintenance.
PaveDrain (Milwaukee, WI) – The new product will be a combination of two proven products and systems; PaveDrain, a permeable paving surface, and MetaMateria, specializing in phosphorous removal. The PaveDrain system has been installed on private and public projects for almost 8 years and has been installed throughout Wisconsin, and the U.S. MetaMateria’s PO4-Sponge has been in the works for over 6 years in the phosphorous removal market focusing mostly on point source (municipal and industrial) applications.
Veolia Water Milwaukee / OptiRTC, Inc. (Milwaukee, WI / Boston, MA) – Rain:Net powered by Opti will actively control and monitor stormwater discharge from Green Infrastructure based on sensor and satellite data and weather forecast information. This technology will enhance the performance of Green Infrastructure by reducing wet-weather discharge. The status and performance of Green Infrastructure outfitted with Rain:Net will be available to view on dynamic web-dashboards.
Solar Water Works (Madison, WI) – Utilizing a solar-powered, catalytic oxidation process for stormwater disinfection, Solar Water Works will measure reaction rate constants for disinfection of two types of bacteria. Data collected will be used for the design and economic analysis of larger-scale stormwater maintenance implementations.
Stonehouse Water Technologies, LLC – With growing concerns about the current and future needs for freshwater access globally, Stonehouse Water Technologies has created a cost-effective, modular, mini water filtration system. The “Water POD” (Potable On Demand) solves the problem of a lack of healthy, clean drinking water in underserved and distressed populations where water contamination is a part of daily life. The POD utilizes multiple processes to remove pathogens, such as Cryptosporidium, viruses, bad odor and taste, and reduces a variety of heavy metals such as Arsenic to safe levels.