Our History


AXEON building

Augustin Pavel Sr., founder of AXEON Water Technologies (formerly R.O. UltraTec) was destined to be a visionary in the water treatment industry. Born in the Czech Republic, Pavel was a young mechanical and chemical engineer with more creative ambition than post-war communism could accommodate.

He immigrated to the United Stated in 1967 and with a few dollars in his pocket he set off to better his life. His first job in water treatment was at the Caneel Bay Resort, created by philanthropist and early eco-tourism advocate Laurence S. Rockefeller. Pavel was hired to manage the resort’s desalination plant. At first glance of the facility, Pavel told himself, “This has got to be the future. The whole world will one day be using seawater for drinking water.”

We are not there yet, but that vision drew Pavel into a lifelong quest for advancing water treatment. He next worked for Los Angeles-based Envirogenics, where he designed and built one of the first casting machines for reverse osmosis, thin-film composite membranes, producing what has today become the most popular spiral-wound membrane.

AXEON building

As the water treatment industry evolved, occasionally stagnated, and progressed again, Pavel continued to develop his concepts at such companies as Hydranautics, Brunswick and Eastman Kodak. One of his larger projects was the designing and building of several membrane manufacturing plants for Iraq and China.

Through a series of success and failures, Pavel became motivated to take control of his own destiny and start his own business. In 1989, R.O. UltraTec USA, Inc. was founded. “We started the company in our garage; our testing department was on the patio,” Pavel said. “Our goal was to produce the highest quality membranes, while minimizing expenses and offering competitive pricing. And we did just that!”

Within two years, the company won its first large contract through a major OEM that sold through Price Club, Costco’s predecessor. The company then moved to a commercial manufacturing location, and has since thrived, selling commercial and residential RO membranes, pressure vessels and systems.

AXEON building

Then, in November 2010, Pavel formally transitioned ownership to his son, Augustin R. Pavel Jr., thus promoting him from Vice President to CEO and President. “My son complements me,” Pavel said. “I like to design, engineer and create and he likes the business aspect of things—and he does it well! He has successfully grown the business while being in a leadership position, since I semi-retired in 2003. He has made great relationships and great decisions for the company and our partners. Talk about pride!”

As for the future of the industry, Pavel persisted, “There is no question that we will be using seawater for drinking purposes on a larger scale in the future.” But in the meantime? “AXEON is competing to provide the best quality systems and membranes backed by our superior customer and technical support, while offering the most competitive pricing. It’s what we do.” See a timeline of AXEON’s History

AXEON building

In Loving Memory of our JoAnna Pavel, Vice President and Co-Founder

April 17, 1948 – August 11, 2016

Ref: Water Conditioning and Purification Magazine, Seeing the Future in Water, March 2011 Issue.