Historically, water was key to Milwaukee’s booming innovative and industrial successes. Now there’s a concerted push to position Milwaukee as a water technology hub.

Hensley Foster is part of the action. His career as an industrial engineer stretched across four decades, but he says when it ended, his creative juices were far from tapped out.

So in 2012, Foster created Stonehouse Water Technologies, and UW-Milwaukee carved out lab space within its School of Freshwater Sciences for his research.

It has since morphed into a mini water utility. “When we started out, we were looking at capturing water using cisterns and things like that and we knew once we captured it we would have to filter it….but we had this revelation that what we really needed to do was concentrate on a core module to purify,” Foster says.

Water Pod kiosk inside Stonehouse Water Technologies office within Global Water Center.
CREDIT SUSAN BENCE
With a mantra of low energy / low flow, Foster’s water pod took shape. He says what the public will see is a sleek 5-foot tall water dispenser.

“We have completely redesigned it because like our guy says this looks like coffee maker,” Foster says.

Yet behind the scenes, the mini-utility is cleansing the water. “This is the water coming in over here, goes through these series of filters and UV treatment and then it comes back,” Foster says.

Foster’s creation is gaining momentum. His crew installed a system in Algoma, Wisconsin, and next week, one will go on line at an El Rey grocery store on Milwaukee’s south side.

Resource: WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio (Read more)