President and CEO, LINNE Industries
A childhood love of nature led Sandra Burton to a career in renewable energy. Focused largely on solar power, Burton eventually launched Newark-based LINNE Industries with her husband. When they discovered a “stinky pond” on their property, they set out to develop a sustainable solution.
Most ponds like theirs—often found in neighborhoods for stormwater management and on golf courses, where they also serve an aesthetic purpose—are treated using electric pumps, fountains or chemicals. Drawing energy at peak hours or potentially damaging aquatic life, they’re not particularly environmentally friendly. With ingenuity, they developed PondHawk.
Run entirely off the grid—meaning they can treat ponds that were previously inaccessible—the solar-powered unit improves water quality through aeration, much like an aquarium. Micro bubbles create a current. By increasing oxygen at the bottom of the pond, the bubbles encourage bacteria activity to reduce detritus and algae food sources, meaning problem ponds are no longer an issue. Since its launch in 2014, around 200 PondHawks have been installed, offsetting the equivalent of 1.5 million kilowatt hours “compared to running an equivalent-sized electric compressor,” Burton explains.