Geomat is an environmental compliance company that has specialized in wastewater solutions for almost three decades. Most recently, the team is solving issues in the cannabis industry, simplifying large cleaning tasks and ensuring compliant wastewater management. While moving through the marine, car rental, car wash, and cannabis industries, the goal of Geomat has always been to help companies operate in compliance with environmental regulations. Geomat allows these companies to capture, clean, and reuse their water, while complying with federal and state environmental regulations.
Company Founder Al DeChard was refinishing boats for a living when their team noticed that many vessels being manufactured outside of the states contained high quantities of lead. As they worked, the team had to experiment with various materials and tools in an effort to stop environmentally hazardous runoff from leaching into the sea. In that time, DeChard discovered a proprietary solution to treating wastewater that has since been essential in each of the industries Geomat works in.
“I believe this industry is realizing how important it is for water containment and recycling. As states become more stringent with water runoff regulations, it’s important for facilities to have the best viable solution,” said company founder Al DeChard.
When beginning in the cannabis industry, DeChard spent time with cultivators to learn about their challenges and found that wastewater compliance with city ordinances was a major concern. Some companies turn to reverse osmosis to solve this, but this creates a byproduct that still requires disposal. For every five gallons of water treated with reverse osmosis, four gallons of wastewater are produced. Instead, Geomat has two options for cultivation clients looking to treat and reuse water from their site. Their systems can go back into municipalities to be treated by city water systems, but most often clients opt for an on-site, closed-loop system.
In cannabis cultivation sites, each room and the tools within it have to be cleaned to almost surgical standards after harvest. A lot of wastewater is accumulated while cleaning trays and other tools used in cultivation which is time-consuming and awkward, causing a lot of water runoff. Flipping a room after harvest can be expedited when using Geomat products and the company continues to work on meeting cultivator needs. DeChard works directly with clients to learn about their specialized dilemmas in order to shape the Geomat product into an efficient solution.
The Geomat closed-loop system sends used water back into a holding tank where it goes through a proprietary cleaning process. Then the float valve introduces fresh water back into the system to fill the tank back to capacity. When it comes to cleaning tools, DeChard noted that there was a significant amount of water used during this process, so he found a turnkey solution. Geomat builds 10 x 20 ft. cleaning stations built specifically to fit tray tables used to hold and feed cannabis plants. The stations collect overspray from the cleaning process to be treated and reused, enabling all water used in the process to be recycled. Even though it covers a large area, the whole cleaning station can be picked up with a forklift and moved to grow alongside a cultivation site as they expand.
“Geomat is looking forward to helping grow facilities recycle the precious commodity that is water, while helping achieve environmental compliance in the workplace,” DeChard elaborated.
These solutions are novel and necessary for the rapidly growing industry. Electricity and water are two of the most-utilized resources in cannabis cultivation and Al DeChard realized that any way to save water will improve the industry’s ROI. These solutions are not only turnkey, but they’re scaleable — and they demonstrate the love that DeChard has for solving problems. While the turnkey solution works for most, the company founder also enjoys doing custom work and actually has some new ideas to roll out in the next year. As the industry recognizes a growing need for efficient and compliant wastewater management, Geomat continues to innovate — and, in turn, more and more cannabis operators are relying on their proprietary technologies to get the job done right.