Sustainable Water Infrastructure Group, (SWIG) designs, builds, finances and operates innovative nutrient removal systems to restore and protect nutrient-impaired waters from nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. 

The company’s low-cost, small-footprint systems are fast to implement, easy to operate and reliably remove phosphorus and nitrogen. Systems are provided to public and private clients and can be installed in point-source (e.g. wastewater treatment plants) and non-point source locations (e.g. canals carrying runoff from agricultural areas) to intercept and remove nitrogen and phosphorus.

Situation: SWIG won a contract to design, build, and operate a project located in the State of Florida at the north end of Lake Okeechobee on the Kissimmee River to remove 25 metric tons of phosphorus per year from the watershed.

Complication: The operation required a significant upfront investment for facilities, equipment and staffing. The company needed to secure outside funding to augment their cash position.

Solution: Bertzman provided a short-term working capital line of credit to help with expenses while the company waited for the contract milestone payments to arrive.

“The project is an important step to begin the cleanup of Central Florida’s water as the tropical climate is conducive to the formation of harmful algae blooms,” commented Mark Merkelbach, co-founder of SWIG.

“This is our first attempt at participating in a sustainable way to ensure safe water in an environmental setting,” said Neil Berman of Bertzman Social Ventures.

“The process utilized by SWIG uses no chemicals or power, and the remaining media does not need to be landfilled or remediated in any way. In fact, it may be possible to repurpose the remains as fertilizer,”