Infiltrator Systems Inc. and Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. have teamed up to tackle storm-water applications with gas-assist injection molded polypropylene chambers.
The duo inked the deal in July. Infiltrator Systems of Old Saybrook, Conn., will design and manufacture the chambers used for underground storm-water detention systems. ADS, based in Hilliard, Ohio, will manage sales, marketing and field engineering support.
The business is known as StormTech LLC, with headquarters in Wethersfield, Conn. Ron Vitarelli from ADS will serve as president. David Click, formerly of Infiltrator's StormTech Inc. unit, will serve as vice president of sales and marketing. The chambers will be manufactured at Infiltrator's site in Winchester, Ky.
``We both competed on many products together for many years,'' Vitarelli said in an Aug. 7 telephone interview. ``When you put the two together on a friendly team, it really accelerates the products' acceptance in the marketplace.''
Officials said the deal does not include either company's septic chamber product lines or the core pipe business of ADS.
``There's a real complementary situation there,'' said Evelyn Laurenzi, Infiltrator's marketing communications manager. ``Individually, we couldn't be as powerful as we could be together. The demands are totally driven by federal regulations, where restrictions are becoming more and more severe.''
Infiltrator touts itself as the world's leading manufacturer of plastic leachfield drainage chambers for environmental onsite waste-water solutions.
The company had operated subsidiary StormTech Inc. for three years, according to Laurenzi. That unit now has been absorbed by the joint venture. During the past few years, Infiltrator has invested more than $7 million to develop, test and manufacture the chambers. Both the process and product are patented.
``There were no products that could comply with not only all the federal regulations, but also Phase II of the Clean Water Act,'' Laurenzi said.
There has been increasing focus on storm-water management because of land development and more regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
``Phase II of the Clean Water Act is a prime example,'' ADS President Joe Chlapaty said in a news release. ``As a pipe manufacturer, we have provided conventional, as well as innovative solutions to meet these requirements and assist civil design engineers around the world.''
Until recently, the most economical and common method to manage storm-water runoff has been wet or dry ponds, officials said.
``In many areas, this is no longer a viable solution because of growing liabilities to human health and safety, as well as escalated land costs,'' Infiltrator President Jim Nichols said in a news release.
According to information on Infiltrator's Web site, subsurface storage can allow storm-water runoff to be controlled without constructing artificial ponds that waste valuable development space. Subsurface storage reduces flooding, inhibits groundwater depletion and prevents pollutants from leaching into nearby watercourses.
Infiltrator employs about 500 and has annual sales of $100 million. The firm operates one other production facility in Ogden, Utah. ADS had estimated extrusion sales of $385 million for 2002.