TECHe Previous Winner

The TECHe Award, since 2016, honors new advances in technology or the innovative use of technology to protect and enhance the state’s environment.

2018 TECHe Winner

The third annual Arkansas Environmental Technology (TECHe) Award was presented to the City of Fayetteville. The HyDOZ (hyper-concentrated dissolved ozone) Disinfection System is a proprietary technology for ozonating water and wastewater that was developed by BlueInGreen, an Arkansas company in Northwest Arkansas. Looking for a replacement for the aged ultraviolet disinfection system at the Paul R. Noland Water Resource Recovery Facility, the City of Fayetteville allowed a large-scale pilot of the HyDOZ system. The pilot study was a success, and in June 2017 the City of Fayetteville celebrated the successful installation and operation of a full-scale HyDOZ Disinfection System. The HyDOZ Disinfection System is the first of its kind to be installed in a wastewater treatment facility.

The other finalists were:

Environmental and Spatial Technology, Inc., known as the EAST Initiative, is a Little Rock-based nonprofit organization devoted to project-based service learning that encourages students in elementary through high school to apply sophisticated technology in solving problems. EAST was born as an idea more than twenty years ago. Today it includes more than 250 schools in four states. Some examples of EAST projects include: building better transportation models for school districts and municipal bus routes; Schoolhouse Farms in which fresh produce is grown locally to supply hunger relief organizations; the Freight Farm in which lettuce is grown year-round in a refurbished shipping container that employs a hydroponic growing system; A River Runs Through It: Preserving Water Quality and Protecting the Land Along the Muddy Fork River; and the EAST Global Classroom, a partnership with a school in Romania in which the Romanian students have been taught to use 3D modeling and printing programs to design hydroponic growing bays for gardening.

In January 2017, Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority (LRWRA) fully incorporated the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool for its preventative maintenance program for pipes with a twelve inch diameter and smaller. The technology, known as Acoustic Inspection, provides a fast, low cost assessment of blockage conditions in a collection system. Acoustic inspection technology has provided LRWRA a method of assessing blockage conditions on 1100 miles or 100 percent of the small diameter collection system every twelve months. The ability to rapidly assess which pipes require cleaning versus which pipes do not conserves valuable resources. It also reduces the need for closed-circuit televising methods, which is a time-intensive and more expensive inspection. In addition, LRWRA implemented the Acoustic Inspection program without adding any staff to the Collection System Maintenance Department. As a result of this new technology, in 2017 LRWRA reduced non-capacity sanitary sewer overflows by thirty percent from the previous year.