While storms are most known for their destruction of properties and infrastructure, they also cause another big problem: water pollution. In fact, 10 trillion gallons of stormwater runoff finds its way into our natural water resources each year through parking lots and other paved surfaces. And it ends up polluting rivers, drinking water, beaches, and ecosystems.
The cause? Nearly 40 percent of all U.S land in suburban and urban areas have impervious or water-resistant streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. Washington-based startup AquiPor wants to do something about it. The company announced today that it developed a material to keep pollutants out of the natural water system.
AquiPor says its material exceeds EPA’s basic threshold for water treatment
What AquiPor developed is a “a construction material that filters out harmful pollutants … found in stormwater runoff,” it says. And it has three process, utility, and design patents to protect the rights to it.
Using funds from the company’s last funding round, AquiPor says it conducted internal studies that proved its technology could “consistently filter over 80% of total suspended solids found in stormwater.”
And its material, which concrete-like, is still “permeable enough to handle up to 25 inches of water every hour.” For context, this would mean it could handle Seattle’s annual rainfall in less than two hours.
While these claims are yet to be independently verified by a third-party, if the claim is true the company would be able to both exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold for basic water treatment and do so at scale.
Capital needed to tackle infrastructural consequences of stormwater runoff
After each storm, key stakeholders tend to sit down and evaluate the consequences. Time and time again, the conversation includes infrastructure. But progress in infrastructure to tackle the implications of stormwater runoff isn’t possible without capital.
The American Society of Civil Engineers claimed we need $1 trillion in upgrades for water infrastructure. The United States is expected to contribute $629 billion of that within the next 8 years. A survey conducted on elected officials in the U.S shows we need an estimated $32 billion for stormwater infrastructure.
Lauren Beauban is an Editorial Fellow at theRising, where she covers sustainability news and influential people in the industry. She is also interested in environmental policy and how it affects people. You can pitch her stories at firstname.lastname@example.org