Looking at a new year with Anue WaterBy Sarah Bonner - 12th December 2017
An exclusive interview with Paul Turgeon, CEO of Anue Water Technologies, considering the future of the company and the water treatment industry as a whole.
Paul Turgeon became CEO of Anue Water Technologies, a North American leader in municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, in 2016. Anue provides efficient and sustainable ozone and oxygen delivery, and monitoring systems for the replacement of expensive and difficult-to-handle chemicals. They also provide products and services for municipal wastewater treatment systems. As a world-renowned business- and thought-leader in the industrial water and wastewater industry, Paul is well positioned to discuss recent developments and their likely impacts on the future of the industry.
Firstly, has 2017 been a good year for Anue Water Technologies?
Paul: Absolutely! Anue has grown steadily this past year within the US – we hired two more people just last week, and earlier this year we were very happy to appoint Tanya Chandler as our new Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Tanya joined us with a wealth of wastewater industry experience, so she brought a lot to the table, and provides us with a great succession candidate for the future.
Also, this year we expanded our reach into Canada, by establishing technical capabilities there through a Canadian entity. This was a big step for us, and shows how serious we are about our continued growth both in the US and beyond.
Meanwhile, we are currently relocating our headquarters to a new, larger integrated site in Atlanta, Georgia. The move from San Diego in California to Atlanta reflects the growth of the company, and positions us in a more business-friendly state within the US.
What do you think are the greatest influencing factors for the water treatment industry, as we move into 2018?
Paul: I think the main factor we all need to be aware of is the mega-trend for more sustainable approaches to water management. Water is a precious resource that needs to be conserved and protected, and the industry is trying to address this by increasing re-use and recycling of water, reducing emissions and minimizing the use of hazardous chemicals. Regulators are also placing greater industrial and municipal restrictions on how wastewater is treated.
The changes will have positive impacts on the environment, may reduce costs and should improve worker safety. They also offer opportunities for innovation as alternative approaches to age-old problems will need to be found. For example, phosphorous – a key antiscalant and corrosion inhibitor – is being de-listed, and many end-users in the specialty chemicals space are using biocides and other disinfectants that are coming under increasing environmental pressure and regulatory restrictions. Effective and affordable alternatives need to be found – I think we’re on the edge of a revolution in how we manage our wastewater.
How is Anue Water Technologies going to take advantage of those opportunities?
Paul: We are fortunate to be at the cutting edge of the trend, with our oxygen and ozone injection systems. Ozone is the most powerful oxidizer you can get, so it’s very applicable to people using oxidizers, biocides or disinfectants to deal with their wastewater.
The most difficult bacteria in wastewater systems are anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). These bacteria are very destructive as they excrete hydrogen sulphide, which is corrosive to equipment and hazardous to humans. Our systems can both prevent and cure SRB. Pumping oxygen into the main lines keeps the system aerobic and prevents SRB growth, while injecting ozone into the system produces a strong disinfectant effect that kills any SRB colonies that managed to establish. Anue’s smart telemetry system automatically provides the optimal combination of prevention and cure.
Ozone gives the efficacy of a strong oxidizer or biocide, but it’s very ‘green’ and is generated on-site (avoiding the need to use or transport chemicals). Once its job is done, it simply converts back to oxygen again.
In the past, the problem with using ozone in wastewater settings lay in the absence of a safe and economic on-site production option. This is what Anue has developed – the innovative technology to produce and inject ozone at the site of use – giving industry and municipal users an option for biocides that was not previously available.
We have mobile units [pictured above] that we use to demonstrate on-site efficacy and prove that the technology works. Once efficacy is established, we design a system that exactly meets the needs of that particular customer – our systems come in a range of sizes [pictured below] to provide a 'glove fit' engineering process.
I understand you were recently selected by the Editor of Water Online1 as one of the top 10 ‘water-tech winners’ at the Water Environment Federation Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) – he was impressed by your Enviroprep (EP) system. Can you tell us more about that?
Paul: Municipalities routinely deal with a build-up of fats, oil, and grease (FOG) that results in pump failures, sewage backups, and odour issues. FOG is usually cleared by manual cleanouts but our alternative – designed to eliminate the ongoing time, labour and expense of non-technical solutions – ‘conditions’ the lift station by dispersing recycled discharged wastewater. The engineering system allows the distribution of a physical thermodynamic effect that eliminates the FOG.
Paul: Within the specialty chemicals industry, the engineering system can have different applications. It offers a unique method of cascading liquid in a very event rotation, meaning the technology is great for delivering particular liquid substrates. You can see it in action in our video https://anuewater.com/enviro-prep/
This was actually an opportunistic market discovery for us, but we’re now making a strategic effort to drive this unique and affordable technology into industrial applications.
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