In 2021, Bain Capital Double Impact invested in AqueoUS Vets (AV), a provider of water and wastewater treatment and delivery systems. Founded in 2015 and based in Redding California, AV offers a turnkey approach to engineering, building, installing, and servicing custom water treatment systems that leverage advanced design technology and ensure long-term operational reliability to address emerging contaminants in water supplies.
The importance of PFAS removal
In recent years consumers have become more aware of the danger of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). CECs, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (more commonly known as PFAS), do not break down under normal environmental conditions and can take thousands of years to degenerate,. Evidence links exposure to PFAS to adverse, and potentially fatal, health outcomes. Additional information about the link between PFAS and adverse health outcomes can be found on the National Instittute of Health’s website: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/exposure/pfas/highlights/index.cfm
Despite increased attention, PFAS are not new. They have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1940s, including common household items, such as non-stick cookware and water repellant clothing. As a result, they are pervasive: as of 2022, the Environmental Watch Group (EWG) has found PFAS in water samples in over 2,800 communities across all 50 states. Environmental Watch Group (EWG) PFAS Contamination in the U.S. (June 2022): https://www.ewg.org/interactive-maps/pfas_contamination/ The EPA has released Interim Health Advisory levels for some types of PFAS as low as 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt)–equivalent to less than 1 drop per 4,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/sdwa/drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-and-pfos
An innovative water treatment solution
Double Impact invested in AV because we believe the company offers a more compelling and efficient water treatment solution that sets them apart from others in the field.
Water treatment facilities are vital to the health and wellbeing of every community, but they are also large, complex systems that require significant resources to operate and maintain. Upgrading equipment to meet new environmental standards can require larger facilities which can be costly, time consuming, and have negative environmental consequences. AV’s patented LowPro® design requires less space than the industry standard, which means many of their customers can house and maintain the systems in existing buildings. AV’s systems are also more energy efficient to operate and use up to 75% of the energy compared to many of the incumbent systems. Based on studies completed by AV comparing their systems energy usage to competitors’ published data on energy usage.
Recently, AV partnered with the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD) to install the largest single-site ion exchange PFAS treatment facility in the country. With this project, YLWD was able to get all nine of the site’s impacted wells into service, safeguarding water quality for their residents and businesses. In 2022, this project was honored as Water Treatment Project of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Los Angeles, and as Outstanding Water Project and Project of the Year by the ASCE Orange County.
As of December 31, 2022
Scaling business operations
Since AV joined the Double Impact portfolio, the partnership with the team has focused on bringing AV’s innovative solutions to more communities across the country. This includes the acquisition of an East Coast tank manufacturing facility, which will support the company’s expansion in the region.
We have also strengthened the talent of the team with four new senior team members and are working with the company to create an excellent employee experience. This includes making investments in enhanced benefit options, new training opportunities, technology, and career planning and development.