Companies are coming to Hamilton from thousands of miles to help solve the world’s water problems

Seven water-technology start-up companies, one of them from Australia, will be part of the second Pipeline H2O class, based in Hamilton’s “Hamilton Mill” accelerator program and in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

Antony Seppi of the Hamilton Mill and director of the Pipeline H2O program said it was difficult picking the seven firms from the 80 applications received from businesses located in 20 countries on six continents. Those included 52 from North America; nine from Europe; eight from Africa; eight from Asia; two from Australia; and one from South America.

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Last year, the farthest companies involved in the program were from New York and Illinois. This year, one firm is from Australia, with others from California’s Silicon Valley. The Greater Cincinnati region hopes the Pipeline H2O program can launch it into a “Silicon Valley for water technology,” officials have said. They envision solving problems such as preventing water pollution, cleaning water and sewage and making other water-related advances, all on a worldwide scale.

The chosen companies work with local companies, universities, utilities, federal environmental officials and others to hone and market their products, while gaining real-world experience with utilities and companies in hopes of finding mentors and potential customers for their products. In May, two of the businesses will be chosen to receive $25,000 apiece.

Companies include:

Cerahelix of Orono, Maine, which manufactures filters from renewable ceramic materials. The filters are used to make products out of organic materials that can be used for fuel. The filters also can help re-use recyclable materials and purify water.

Drop Water, a California company that transports bottled water in a more energy-efficient way, which requires only half the energy to bottle, and 1/30th of the cost to transport to bottled-water kiosks.

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Folia Water, a Menlo Park, Calif., wholesale technology maker of paper filters for the 3 billion people around the world who make between $2 and $10 per day and need a very inexpensive way to have safe water for drinking.

GeoInteractive, based in Sydney, Australia, which deploys intelligent robots and autonomous floating drones for large sewers rather than people to inspect sewers, allowing employees to examine the sewers from their offices.

Micronic Technologies, based in Wise, Va., develops MicroEVAP, which it calls the sustainable water-purification technology. It uses no membranes, filters or chemicals to eliminate "virtually all contaminants from practically any source water."

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Water Warriors, based in Cincinnati, works to solve world sewage problems using innovative approaches to traditional water-treatment methods. Dr. Rakesh Govind, the company's chief technology officer, is a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

WINT (an abbreviation of Water Intelligence), of San Francisco, helps with water metering and data analytics for commercial real estate and utilities to help them detect inefficiencies in their systems, as well as leaks, in real time.

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