By Mariel Concepcion

Aquacycl Inc., the inventor and manufacturer of a new wastewater treatment technology, has
signed a long-term contract with a major food and beverage company.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2016, Aquacycl helps industrial customers achieve energy neutral wastewater
treatment and simplifies complex, tough to treat wastewater, according to the company.

After a successful demonstration phase with the food and beverage client, Aquacycl expanded to a multi-year, pay-for-performance contract, and will provide industrial pretreatment-as-aservice for the concentrated wastewater produced at the client’s plant.

In 2021, Aquacycl’s revenue was between half a million and a million, said Orianna Bretschger, CEO. In 2022, thanks to the new contract as well as multiple opportunities in its pipeline, that figure is projected to increase to $3M.

Orianna Bretschger CEO Aquacycl Inc.

Orianna Bretschger CEO Aquacycl Inc.

Lots of Opportunities for Growth

“We are now contracted with one of the biggest food and beverage companies in the world and we are pending a contract with another very large global company,” she said. “I think we will skyrocket from there. The projects we have now are mostly recurring revenue. We are building new relationships with large companies and have multiple opportunities within the organization. As soon as the seeds that are already planted are nurtured, we will see lots of opportunities for growth in the next five years. Our goal is to solve major wastewater challenges in the world.”

Headquartered in Escondido and with nine employees, Aquacycl uses a patented industrial pretreatment system dubbed BioElectrochemical Treatment Technology (BETT). The system treats ultra-high strength wastewater, removing organic material before discharging it into city sewers, said Bretschger.

The system does not produce methane and operates by generating up to 90% less CHG emissions than conventional treatment technologies, the CEO added.

“We are able to treat up to 1,600 pounds of carbon removed in tiny 40-foot shipping containers every day, 10 times faster than anything in the market today,” said Bretschger. “We use natural bacteria to produce electricity and treat the water at the same time. The more electricity produced means a faster treatment rate. What we do is enable reuse to happen. There is no other tech in the market that can bring it to this level of reuse without enormous footprint and cost.”

Silvia Mah Investor Aquacycl Inc.

Silvia Mah Investor Aquacycl Inc.

Break Down Waste Streams

Silvia Mah is the CEO of Hera-Labs, a business accelerator for women-owned small businesses. She is also the co-founder of Hera Fund, an angel fund for female angels investing in female founders, and an angel investor in female-focused endeavors. Mah, an investor in the company, said Aquacycl uses “bacteria to break down waste streams that are typically incredibly difficult to break down, like sugars and oils from primarily food, beverage and confectioners industrial facilities with minimal operational expense due to remote monitoring and with net zero footprint because the system generated energy.”

Because Aquacycl is already generating revenue and has service agreements in the food and beverage sector, it is poised to bring local jobs to the San Diego area, added Mah. That’s just a small part of the company’s estimated impact on the local economy, she said.

“The modularity of Aquacycl’s system, remote monitoring excellence and highly efficient service operations means it can easily be scaled up or down depending on needs of any customer from military to candy – and it integrates seamlessly with existing facilities,” she said.

“This equates to massive integration into existing systems across the world, and as a result of successful pilots that exceeded KPIs (key performance indicators), revenues are expected to increase dramatically in 2022 alongside projected global economic growth of 6.5% post pandemic.”

Steady Growth

Aquacycl will maintain steady growth for years to come, predicts Bretschger. Employee count is anticipated to increase to 30 by the end of 2023, she said. In the next couple of years, Aquacycl plans to expand manufacturing as well as its service and sales teams.

“We look to be a $10 million company in the next three to five years,” Bretschger said. “We will easily be up to $100 million by 2031.”

Aquacycl Inc.

CEO: Orianna Bretschger
BUSINESS: Inventor/manufacturer of new wastewater treatment technology
REVENUE: Projecting $3M in 2022
NOTABLE: Company offers solution to wastewater treatment issues.