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Celebrating 35 Years of Innovation

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This year Infiltrator Water Technologies celebrates 35 years of innovation in the onsite wastewater industry! Let's take a look back at where it all began and where we are today. 

The idea of a plastic leach field chamber emerged in 1979 as Jim Nichols, a plastics-design consultant, looked out the out the window of his home and saw a homeowner’s worst nightmare; the ground was oozing and bubbling wastewater as a result of a failed septic system. He needed to replace part of his gravel and pipe leach field. When the installer arrived to replace his leach field he watched the process with a curious eye. When the crew finished the installation Nichols had the idea that the process could be more efficient using something made of plastic.  

After a few years Nichols came up with the original design for the Infiltrator chamber. In 1987 Infiltrator Water Technologies (Infiltrator Systems at the time) entered the market selling the Infiltrator chamber system as an alternative to the decades-old traditional gravel and pipe leach field. The key differentiator that the Infiltrator chamber system brought to the market was that contractors could install a complete system in half the time of a gravel and pipe leach field. Contractors quickly bought into the concept and in the first year of business Infiltrator sold more than 30,000 chambers turning a profit instead of the expected loss.  

That first chamber has evolved into a full line of chambers in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet the needs of just about any septic system installation. In addition to chambers Infiltrator grew to offer additional leach field products like EZflow or combined treatment dispersal products like ATL and Advanced Enviro-Septic. Innovations in manufacturing expanded the possibilities for plastic septic and potable water tanks that are stronger and lighter than concrete, offering ease of transport and installation. Infiltrator entered the advanced treatment market offering residential and commercial treatment products from Delta Treatment Systems. The custom-built ENVIRO-AIRE Package Treatment Plants and ECOPOD units can be designed to treat daily flows of up to 250,000 GPD for commercial and decentralized wastewater treatment systems.  

Each year our subsidiary, Champion Polymer Recycling, purchases 75,000 tons of post-consumer and post-industrial thermoplastics that might have otherwise been landfilled. Those materials are then used in the production of Infiltrator products. Infiltrator chambers and septic tanks are manufactured using approximately 95 percent recycled plastics.  

Since 2017 Infiltrator has been a corporate partner of Habitat for Humanity International. Through their Gifts in Kind program, Infiltrator donates product for 50 septic systems to Habitat homes throughout the United States each year. Members of the Infiltrator team are often onsite during the installation of a donated septic system and participate in “build days” where they help with construction of homes.  

Infiltrator offers a variety of services to help customers effectively use and install our products. Resources on our website include videos, product manuals, design specs, and live bi-weekly webinars 

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In 2019, Infiltrator was acquired by, and now operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of, Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS). ADS is a leading manufacturer of high performance thermoplastic corrugated pipe and ancillary products, providing a comprehensive suite of water management products and superior drainage solutions for use in the construction and infrastructure marketplace. Both Infiltrator and ADS share a similar vision and values and remain committed to developing innovative, best-in-class products while maintaining a dedication to safety, operational excellence, and sustainability through our recycling activities. ADS is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under symbol WMS. 

Today Infiltrator manufactures and sells multiple product lines for the onsite wastewater and water industry. With innovative products and service, ISO 9001 certified manufacturing facilities, leading creative recycling solutions and the development of new subsidiaries, Infiltrator is poised to offer a total approach to water quality. Our future lies in a global effort to identify and develop new technologies that improve water quality and wastewater management worldwide.