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The company’s founder Anders Lindqvist and Jakob Sjöberg have backgrounds in geology and environmental science respectively. Anders Lindqvist previously worked as environmental consultant with large due diligence contracts and Jakob Sjöberg developed water treatment technology in the United States. When they discussed water treatment in 2013, they realized that there is a huge lack of effective technology in Sweden and Europe, while the problems can be solved with existing treatment technology used in the United States.
Since EU introduced its Water Framework Directive in 2000 – there has been no available technology in Europe that has been able to efficiently treat storm and process water in line with the directive, especially in construction projects. Therefore, the authorities have given many exemptions from the water directive in order to permit construction projects to discharge untreated water straight into Swedish and European waters. In projects where no exemptions have been obtained, the water has been transported by trucks to expensive landfills instead. And in some really large projects, expensive and complicated treatment technologies have been used that involve environmentally and health hazardous chemicals. In addition, others have tried to minimize the need for water treatment – a process that is complicated and has little effect. And the situation is the same throughout Europe. In the United States, however, there has been effective water treatment technologies available since the late 1990s.
In the United States, the Clean Water Act was introduced in the 1970s, which was implemented in the 1980s. The authorities strictly enforce the requirements in the Clean Water act, which is one of the world’s toughest water acts. It does not allow any exemptions and it does not allow flocculants consisting of environmentally hazardous chemicals. Since there was no technology in the 1980s that met the high requirements, it was not in reality possible in the northwestern states to have construction project running during the five most rainy months of the year, from November to March.
The legal requirements therefore led to technology development in the United States. One of those who began to develop a new method was John Macpherson. He chose to look more closely at chitosan, a substance extracted from crab shells, as it coagulates blood and is used as a blood clot in healthcare. Chitosan also proved to have very good flocking properties for water. John Macpherson developed the technology and got it certified by the regulatory authorities. Thus, the method was enrolled in the regulatory framework as an approved treatment method, and in the northwestern states contractors could start conducting groundworks throughout the year.
The previous described method is very effective, but it is also expensive and complicated. However, since the method was written into the regulatory framework, there is no incentive to further develop the technology in the United States. When Anders Lindqvist and Jakob Sjöberg realized that the shortcomings in Europe can easily be remedied by using chitosan flocculation, they contacted John Macpherson. Together, they further developed the method to be simpler, more efficient and financially competitive. And in 2015, the method was introduced on the Swedish market. So now Swedish and European companies can follow the EU Water Directive and administer their projects in an environmentally efficient way.
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