More Than a Sustainable Solution for Pipe Infrastructure Rehabilitation
Nu Flow Technologies
As the global leader in small-diameter interior infrastructure rehabilitation, Nu Flow Technologies, Inc. is also an eco-conscious company dedicated to providing the least intrusive and most cost-effective options for sewer and water pipe repair and renewal. Since its 1998 launch, Nu Flow has been cultivating and delivering innovative solutions to its customers’ piping problems.
Nu Flow is also a proud member of the Aquam family of companies, which operates under a vision of realizing a future where safe, reliable access to vital resources is ensured for utility, commercial and residential markets.
Today, Nu Flow has hundreds of licensees across the globe – and is always interested in finding new ones. Nu Flow’s sustainable technologies have been implemented in buildings around the world and across diverse industries, including defense, government, commercial, industrial, multi-family, healthcare, and historical properties.
An industry leader in non-intrusive pipe repair, Nu Flow spearheaded the development of both its pull-in-place structural lining process (Nu Drain™) and epoxy coating system (Nu Line™). On the one hand, Nu Line is designed for pressurized pipe systems, such as potable water systems, HVAC systems, compressed air systems, fire suppression systems, and Collection, Hold and Transfer (CHT) systems in maritime vessels, etc. On the other hand, Nu Drain is geared toward non-pressurized drainage systems, such as mains, sanitary systems, and processed / industrial / chemical piping systems, etc.
Nu Flow’s long-term solutions can be used to both repair damaged piping systems and as a preventative measure to extend the useful life of the pipe infrastructure.
On top of its longevity, an added benefit of the epoxy coating and structural lining technology used by Nu Flow is that it creates no landfill waste, rehabilitates piping systems from the inside, and ensures a healthier water supply with virtually no carbon footprint. As stated on its website, nuflowtech.com, the durability of Nu Flow’s lining products and type of resin utilized ensure that harmful toxins from sewerage aren’t released into the environment. Furthermore, the epoxy coating technology effectively prevents toxic heavy metals from leaching into potable water.
The green pipe renewal business has grown quickly. Nu Flow originally began in Bowmanville, Canada, as an interior infrastructure drain rehabilitation manufacturer and licensor. Its founder, Cameron Manners, worked out of his garage manufacturing and providing local installations. By 2001, he was licensing Nu Flow’s technology to plumbing contractors. It was then that he moved the business into a manufacturing facility in Oshawa, Ontario.
Nu Flow’s then patented Nu Drain™ Cured-in-Place Pipelining (CIPP) technology allows plumbers to rehabilitate both the lateral small-diameter drainage pipes from the building to the main, as well as the piping structures with multiple bends and fittings inside the building itself. Nu Flow’s versatile and flexible lining capabilities can meticulously accommodate the pipe architecture of the building. In addition, the technology is non-intrusive as the lining enters the pipes, utilizing existing access points already in the system, such as cleanouts and water closet openings for drain waste and vent systems.
“The Nu Flow process is very unique in its capabilities, as we can manipulate the variables of the technology to adapt it to the interior infrastructure piping networks of a building and/or home. The competitive technology in the marketplace is typically used for outside the building lateral work, and not the inside rehabilitation of pipe work in the building,” remarks Tom Bowman, Director of Technology, Sales & Licensing at Nu Flow.
Nu Flow also offers pressurized pipeline technology that can rehabilitate from half-inch to ten-inch pressurized pipeworks via its Nu Line Epoxy Barrier Coating product, which minimizes corrosion in the host pipe.
By acquiring American Pipe Lining, Inc. (APL) in 2006, Nu Flow expanded its capabilities to include the rehabilitation of potable pipes and mechanical systems via a pressurized air delivery system.
“The reason we acquired APL is because of its one-of-a-kind technology, being able to implement epoxy barrier coating to pressurized pipelines. A primary focus of its work was military, beginning with the development of the solution by the U.S. Navy,” Bowman tells us.
The technology was born as a solution to the U.S. Navy’s need to stop the interior corrosion of pressurized pipelines on its vessels. Thus, the technology was developed to put a barrier coating on the internal surface of metallic pipelines. Today, the coating technology is used in a host of applications for potable water distribution, HVAC, compressed air, gas, fire suppression and electrical conduit piping systems across residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
Between 2001 and 2008, Nu Flow had grown from having 10 licensees to having 250. Today, the Canadian company’s corporate headquarters is located in San Diego, California, and in 2017 its manufacturing center moved into a new, 45,000-square-foot facility in Ajax, Ontario. The manufacturing headquarters supplies both Nu Flow’s products and technology to hundreds of licensees or contractors, including its sister company Specialized Pipe Technologies, or SPT, which is Nu Flow’s largest installer of both technologies.
Nu Flow manufactures its own epoxies, lining equipment, and specialty equipment for small-diameter interior infrastructure rehabilitation to the utmost quality. In fact, this summer, Nu Flow is going through ISO 9001 certification, ensuring that its quality management system meets the highest of international standards.
As a member of the Aquam family of companies since inception, Nu Flow shares its core values of sustainability, excellence, respect, ethics, safety, and one team. Aquam’s corporate mission is to provide the world with safe, reliable access to energy and water. Its global team is dedicated to solving our planet’s challenging infrastructure problems safely, ethically, unobtrusively, and sustainably.
In addition to Nu Flow, other companies under the Aquam banner are SPT (a pipe lining installation provider), Aquam Water Services (a leading UK company that provides water utilities critical water usage data), Aquam Pipe Diagnostics (a global pipeline assessment and inspection specialist), and Orbis Intelligent Systems (a provider of infrastructure health monitoring services). Orbis launched in May 2018.
While Nu Flow has built its reputation on its innovative solutions for pipe lining technologies and its reliable manufacturing of these rehabilitation products, its biggest market differentiator may well be its focus on training and support for its licensees.
Nu Flow works closely with its sister company SPT, which specializes in the use of its technologies, and as a result has developed a tremendous amount of coursework that accommodates licensees with all levels of expertise – from the apprentice, to the journeyman, to the master pipe rehabilitation tradesperson. In addition to the technical training, Nu Flow has secured professional development training and resources that help licensees to successfully own and operate their lining businesses.
Most importantly, all aspects of Nu Flow training are continuous and engaging. “Continued support and education is also offered on other mechanisms as far as operations, marketing, backend office, financial – all of the things that make us who we are,” adds Bowman. “We have two customized training centers – one in San Diego, and the other at SPT’s headquarters in Sarasota, Florida.”
Nu Flow typically holds multiple continuing education classes and educational webinars monthly for its licensees.
“What we’ve realized through the years of training licensees is that education doesn’t begin and end within the first week of training. It needs to be continual and ongoing, as does everybody’s career and professional endeavours. That is something that we will always remain focused on at Nu Flow: how to provide better training and further training for our licensees,” says Bowman.
In the future, Nu Flow plans to keep developing its education programs, and is considering offering more classes, forums, and online training portals that are available on demand. This would allow a licensee to have any team member log in, from office staff to estimators or technicians, so they can receive refresher courses or other training content at a moment’s notice and at their own convenience.
Established plumbing and mechanical piping businesses that are interested in becoming a Nu Flow licensee are welcome to contact the business. “When we’re reviewing a candidate to become a licensee, we look for companies who are looking to add technology to stay above the market trends and give an added solution to their current business line, companies with good business practices and referrals. We look for companies that have employee longevity, and of course an entrepreneurial spirit and ambition to grow,” Bowman reveals.
Providing the planet with innovative and eco-friendly solutions is a core desire that stems from Nu Flow’s parent company and flows down to its hundreds of licensees. Going forward, Nu Flow will continue investing in research and development. Like the parent company Aquam which has three patents with another ten pending, Nu Flow is always looking to expand its capabilities, which then can be passed on to the its licensees.
“Our future plans for Nu Flow are to continue our amazing North American and international growth and expansion, and to become a household name and consumer name of choice for inside infrastructure pipe rehabilitation – not just with contractors, but with property owners, property management companies, engineers, and architects,” states Bowman.