Stormwater is surface water that originates from rain, including snow and ice melt. Heavy rains can create surface water in abnormal quantities and that water either soaks naturally into the soil, evaporates, or runs off. Most run-off is conveyed directly to nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies without treatment.
The problem is threefold. 1) Urbanization: We have developed our cities faster than any point in human existence, adding huge amounts of impermeable surface area in the form of streets, sidewalks, and rooftops, for example. 2) Aging Infrastructure: In many U.S. cities, water infrastructure is over 100 years old. It is deteriorating and in need of upgrades. 3) Larger rain events: Average precipitation rates are increasing throughout the country. To boot, the infrastructure we rely on to manage our water needs was built and sized for populations of a previous era. As the intensity and volume of rain events increases, the need to keep raindrops where they fall is more vital now than ever before.
Permeable surfaces allow us the ability to manage our stormwater the way nature intended to before we built our cities. By mimicking the permeability of natural soils, AquiPor permeable technology allows engineers to find creative ways to keep the raindrops where they fall.
The American Rivers Organization puts it well when defining green infrastructure as “an approach to water management that protects, restores, or mimics the natural water cycle. Green infrastructure is effective, economical, and enhances community safety and quality of life”. The AquiPor team would like to add that innovation in green infrastructure provides an opportunity to bring cutting edge technologies to aid in the healing of our planet.
AquiPor’s patented technology sets itself apart from other forms of green infrastructure because it is a permeable, hard surface material that is resistant to clogging. Through a proprietary chemical process, our material is manufactured to feature nanoscale porosity. Water can permeate through our material, while sediment, pollutants, and particulate matter is filtered out. because of the pore size. Our relentless pursuit of keeping these pores as small as possible has allowed us the opportunity to capture stormwater in a way unique to AquiPor.
Breaking down the raindrops into smaller droplets is a scientific term called capillary action. We break these drops into a uniform line at the surface of our technology, which allows us to separate the harmful materials that are carried in stormwater at the surface, all while allowing the drops to continue through the material, back to where they belong in nature.
AquiPor’s prototypes have only been tested internally in a lab setting, but have shown compressive strength ranges of 8,000-10,000 PSI. AquiPor will soon be testing professionally manufactured pavers with accredited third parties.
Initial labs testing indicates that this technology has an average infiltration rate of 25 inches per hour.
The unique pore size of our technology again comes into play here. In internal proof of concept testing, we have proven the materials ability to filter out greater than 80% of particulate matter and problematic pollutants found in stormwater. Breaking the stormwater down and separating debris at the surface prevents the clogging issues that are problematic in other forms of green infrastructure.
Pavers are tile, brick or brick like pieces of concrete most often used as exterior flooring. Their most common use is in driveways, pathways and walkways. AquiPor’s pavers can come in many formats, optimized for your project.
Instead of the need for new and expensive equipment, our technology can be cleaned with the current methods used by cities to clean normal streets. A current street cleaner for cities or surface brush for smaller applications will ensure lasting performance of the AquiPor permeable system because the debris never enters the pores.
Initially, AquiPor will be focused on installing the technology within existing infrastructure. This can include parking lots, driveways, alleyways, sidewalks, plaza areas, and streetscapes (curblines and gutter sections), or any other areas of within existing cityscapes that tend to have stormwater either directed to them, or create large amounts of runoff that has to be dealt with. AquiPor will enter the marketplace focused on being a runoff volume reduction tool for those seeking stormwater solutions.
AquiPor material has been designed to meet traditional concrete reliability standards in terms of long-term strength and durability which aims for a 50-year product life. Moreover, AquiPor technology is chemically inert which means it will not break down in the presence of environmental stressors such as chemicals (de-icers), oils, and other acidic toxins that are known to deteriorate traditional poured concretes and asphalts.
AquiPor’s patented technology can be produced with different construction aggregates as long as they have some feldspathic mineral content. These rock types are found in abundance throughout the world. As we get into scalable manufacturing, we will initially source our materials from large deposits in the Western U.S. For future growth, we have identified other sources throughout each region of the U.S.
AquiPor is currently working with its R&D manufacturing plant to be able to provide various colors and sizes of our products (whether in paver or precast unit form). AquiPor may offer limited colors and sizes, initially, until we have a better feel for market demand of particular aesthetics. Preferences for these features will vary as communities have their say, but we will be sure to match their requests along the way. We take pride in exceptional customer service.
Any permeable pavement technology must always be installed as part of a comprehensive engineered design to ensure adequate stormwater infiltration and to make sure the pavement structural section is not compromised. Our material is no different and will require proper engineering and installation. Fortunately, engineered designs and installation specifications for permeable pavements already exist. We aren’t reinventing the wheel with regards to installation. We are reinventing the wheel through the act of how we capture stormwater at the surface.
No. In fact, our manufacturing process requires very little energy and we utilize recycled materials in our products. Not only will we help build our cities through saving stormwater, but doing so in a way that is virtually harmless to our environment.
Initially, all AquiPor product will be manufactured in the United States of America. However, since this is a material technology, it can be applied to manufacturing facilities throughout the world.
Initially, AquiPor material will be produced by a select number of manufacturers in the Western U.S. We will also work with select distributors per region. Depending on the product-type, material costs should be in line with traditional, unitized hardscape surface products. Keep in mind that full installation costs must consider factors such as the application, project size, accessibility, permitting and code requirements, grading, and underground utilities.
Our technology has been developed to be effective in all climates. Our material has permeability rates that average 25 inches per hour, making it effective in large storm events. With strength characteristics on par with concrete, it is not susceptible to cracking from freeze-thaw and should reduce the formation of surface ice by eliminating standing water and preventing the liquid from freezing. In warmer climates, we may be able to reduce urban heat island effect and provide more evaporation of water which may reduce temperatures in the urban core of cities.
Hardscape is also referred to as any man-made features used in the architecture of a landscape. This includes roadways, sidewalks, parking lots, plazas and much more. Hardscapes are often the most problematic areas for stormwater management.
Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the assistance of gravity, electricity, or other outside forces. A great example is in how a tree can get water 300 feet into the air to nourish its leaves without being plugged into electricity. In the case of AquiPor technology, we use capillary action to pull stormwater back into the ground. We become the “roots” of our streets.
Imagine a raindrop that falls on a city street. That raindrop traditionally hits a hard surface that does not allow it to pass through. So the raindrop and all of its friends accumulate and start traveling in whatever direction the hard surface is sloped towards. Most often, these raindrops end up hitting a curb and being directed to a gutter at the end of a street. The curb is essentially a freeway for raindrops. Along this freeway, raindrops pick up all sorts of debris, pollutants, and toxins which make them sick. Since they are all so close to one another, they become sick together and need to be treated. After falling into the gutter at the end of the street, these raindrops are often carried far away to either a treatment plant where it becomes expensive to clean them all at once, or they are sent directly into a river, lake, or ocean untreated and wreak havoc on our environment. Fish and wildlife then become sick, along with entire bodies of water that become sick.
Installing AquiPor Technology within our current hardscape infrastructure allows those raindrops to be intercepted before falling into the gutter. Through the science of our technology, these raindrops are treated at the surface without having to go through the complex and expensive system currently meant to treat sick raindrops. These raindrops get treated quickly through capillary action, on the spot, and stay where they were intended to, rather than all getting collected into one area and being treated far away. Although AquiPor technology is a hard surface, it’s characteristics act more like soil.
By treating these raindrops quickly and keeping them healthy on the spot, we avoid the expensive process of sending them to be treated in the masses at a far away place. This technology will save taxpayers money, and provide the raindrops a natural alternative to treating themselves.
Capillary action does not allow our material to fully clog over time. We’ve proved this through independent lab testing. However, accumulation of debris will slow the infiltration rate. Depending on the stormwater traffic where the technology is applied, a maintenance regimen will be provided to the installer. That maintenance will vary based on application of the technology. The nice thing, cleaning the technology is simple and can be done with current street cleaning equipment.
Infiltration is the process of a liquid going through something by filtration.
Since our technology exceeds 8,000 PSI (pounds per square inch), we meet the construction requirement for strength in winter conditions. The ability of water to expand when frozen will not affect this technology.
The main reason for this crowdfund is to begin manufacturing our technology. Those local manufactures are signed up and ready to participate in the next step of this venture. Through this process, material dimensions and colors will be determined. Upon reaching these milestones, we plan to publish our product line with all of you.