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Expands its Product Development Focus to Target a Broader Spectrum of Pollutants
Vortechnics® has received a $10,000 seed grant from the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) to develop a stormwater filter prototype that will target the removal of fine particulate and dissolved pollutants such as zinc, copper, lead, nitrogen and phosphorous from stormwater runoff. The company will match the grant with a contribution of $27,600.
"MTI funding has been very helpful in allowing us to pursue our aggressive research and development vision, stay ahead of new environmental regulations and meet the needs of our customers nationwide," said David Miley, CEO of Vortechnics. "Regulations vary by region, but many state and local governments are considering implementing requirements to remove dissolved pollutants from runoff before it reaches surface waters. Vortechnics is committed to leading the market with innovative solutions to clean stormwater before it enters our lakes, rivers and streams."
The new filter will be designed to function as a standalone unit or work in conjunction with the company's flagship Vortechs® System, a patented in-ground device that uses a swirling action and flow controls to capture 80 percent of total suspended solids (TSS) and oily pollutants from stormwater. When developed, this new filter device will provide Vortechnics customers with the ability to capture an even broader spectrum of stormwater contaminants.
When stormwater runs off the surfaces of parking lots, roadways or industrial sites, it usually carries pollutants such as sediment, oil, grease, trash and other contaminants. This polluted runoff often flows directly into storm sewers, which typically release into surface waters, such as lakes, rivers and streams. Nutrients and heavy metal contaminants carried in the runoff can quickly reach harmful levels in surface waters. For example, high levels of phosphorus or nitrogen can create an environment in which algae can flourish, diminishing the habitat for native plants, fish, and insects. The end result is a stagnant, contaminated body of water, rather than a vibrant ecosystem.
"Our new stormwater filtration system will address a growing demand for simple, compact and affordable stormwater treatment systems that can reduce dissolved metal and nutrient pollution in the natural environment," Miley said. "The new system will also be designed to help prevent clogging or 'blinding' that occurs when systems are not cleaned at appropriate intervals."
This is the company's second MTI grant this year. In May, Vortechnics received a development grant of nearly $200,000 to develop a device to capture trash from stormwater flows.
For more information about the Maine Technology Institute and recent grants, go to www.maintechnology.org.