Uponor Inc. (Uponor) has announced that its investment in Upstream Technologies Inc. is already delivering both environmentally and financially. According to pages 41-43 of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) report, the Upstream Technologies SAFL Baffle has saved Minnesota taxpayers $8.5 million over the past three years and projects additional savings to the state of $26.4 million over the next 10 years.
The SAFL Baffle was developed out of the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL). The product is a method to help municipalities, developers, watershed districts and transportation departments improve sediment capture in urban runoff before it goes into storm sewers and eventually ends up in lakes, rivers and oceans.
“We are pleased to see this technology deliver cleaner water to our environment,” says Bill Gray, president, Uponor North America. “Saving millions of taxpayer dollars in the process is a win for all stakeholders, today and tomorrow.”
Uponor holds a minority equity position in Upstream Technologies and has participated in two rounds of equity financing since 2014.
Rick Kuntz, CEO of Upstream Technologies, indicated the MnDOT-reported savings for Minnesota may be conservative. “The study projections are based on 140 baffles per year being installed in Minnesota, and the volume today is more than 200 per year and growing,” he says. “The city of Golden Valley also conducted a sediment capture study after retrofitting its storm water system and reported the capture rate doubled with the SAFL Baffle. Our mission now is to expand baffle usage and savings to other states and provinces. We are also positioned to launch two new products in 2018 with equal impact.”
Upstream is the exclusive licensee of the SAFL Baffle patented by the University of Minnesota.