WICHITA, Kansas – Envision Industries announced this week that it has received its first order to produce Global Consumer Innovations’ Aquapad Sandless Sandbags. The Wichita manufacturer hopes to fill the 12,000 unit order within the next six weeks.
The Aquapad is an innovative water barrier that works like a sandbag to protect again flood waters and other natural disasters. It can also be used to protect against leaks from water heaters and broken pipes. The pad absorbs about 45 to 50 pounds of water. It can absorb five gallons in less than three minutes. When filled, it can be the same size of a traditional sandbag, to keep rising water at bay.
Aquapads are designed to easily store and transport, weighing only one pound when dry.
“The Aquapad is a very lightweight product. It is kind of like a giant diaper,” said Michael Montana, the senior vice president of strategic business development at Envision Industries.
Envision will produce the product at its Wichita manufacturing facility. The company’s direct labor force is comprised of more than 75% blind or visually impaired employees.
KSN News toured the facility and met numerous employees who will soon work to fill the large order of Aquapads.
“Most employers look at you as a risk. I would rather work than have no job and stay at home and do nothing. I cannot function that way,” said Russell Romine.
Romine is one of about one hundred blind or visually impaired people who work for Envision. They produce a long list of products, from plastic trash bags to gun slings. To add to the list: the Aquapad.
Envision foresees the Aquapad becoming available to a much broader audience, from the federal government to local municipalities. It could take up to 45 days, but representatives with the company hope to soon make it available to consumers and retailers online, as well.
Company representatives are scheduled to meet with the local American Red Cross next week to discuss working together before the upcoming storm season.
Envision is not yet at full production of the Aquapads.
To learn more about Envision and its mission, click here.