Innovation awards winners announced at BlueTech Forum

A meter-to-customer software and services platform and an advanced self-cleaning filter have been named as two of the most innovative technologies in the water industry today. FATHOM Water Management, Inc. from Arizona and Spiral Water Technologies of California were selected by BlueTech Research as likely to transform the shape of the water industry of the future.

FATHOM won the Blue Truffle Award and Spiral Water won the Disrupt-O-Meter Award at the fifth annual BlueTech Forum, in San Francisco on 1 June. The winners, chosen from a shortlist of eleven companies, will be invited to join the Innovation Pavilion at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition & Conference (WEFTEC) in New Orleans in September.

Real challenges
Chief executive and founder of BlueTech Research Paul O’Callaghan said: “Utilities and industrial users of water around the world are facing real challenges – which means it is more important than ever to take an imaginative approach to solving problems.

“Both FATHOM and Spiral Water have developed products which could have a huge impact on the water industry. FATHOM’s geo-spatial Smart Grid for Water platform was created specifically for the water industry to manage every interaction between a utility and its customers, while Spiral Water have engineered a self-cleaning filter which outperforms its rivals while cutting both maintenance and energy costs.”

Intelligent software
FATHOM is the software-as-a-service, cloud-based data integration platform that is changing the water utility paradigm and enabling the water internet of things with its technology-agnostic way of integrating software, databases and equipment. Developed by the Arizona-based water and wastewater utility Global Water Resources, Inc., FATHOM generates value through increased revenue, decreased costs, and decreased water demand in a way that is less expensive, less risky and easier to adopt.

Through FATHOM, utilities can build sustainable, data-driven, customer-centric enterprises while managing the realities of water volatility and the increasing expectations of customers. FATHOM is already used by 4 million water customers in the US.

Trevor Hill, chairman and chief executive officer at FATHOM said: “It is tremendous to have been awarded the Blue Truffle Award in recognition of the impact big data and the FATHOM platform are having on creating more financially sustainable utilities. FATHOM was born in the water-scarce southwest United States, as a way of assuring revenues and managing budgets while addressing water scarcity and the changing needs of customers. “Created by a water utility, for a water utility, FATHOM is redefining the meter-to-customer journey and addressing the financial needs of the water utilities.”

Hard-to-treat water
Winner of the Disrupt-O-Meter Award was California-based Spiral Water for its self-cleaning water filter, which can be used for hard-to-treat water and can be used on wastewater, seawater and water produced from oil processing. Originally developed for biofuel production the revolutionary design features a spiral brush, which continuously cleans the filter element. The filter can deal with a high level of suspended solids, and can reclaim more than 99 per cent of water, as well as separating solids for reuse.

Spiral Water Chief Executive Ashwin Gulati said: “Winning the BlueTech Disrupt-O-Meter Award is a fantastic confirmation of the huge potential of this technology. It has been put to use in difficult-to-treat applications – including oils, grease, high solids and food and beverage manufacture – but could have a huge range of applications for industrial users.

“Not only does it cut the energy costs for processing hard-to-treat wastewater it also offers a way to concentrate solids which can be reused.”

Widespread uses
BlueTech Research founder Paul O’Callaghan said: “Both FATHOM and Spiral Water have found innovative ways to solve problems which could have widespread uses across the water industry worldwide. The BlueTech Forum was a great opportunity to take a look at some of the most inventive, clever and creative ideas emerging from around the world.”

Also shortlisted for the Innovation Awards were Apana, Hitachi Pegasus, Nanospun, Oasys Water, OptiRTC, Organica Water, Pasteurization Technology Group, Water Planet and Xylem. The fifth annual BlueTech Forum was attended by leading academics, representatives of clean tech companies and water industry decision makers from around the world.