Our Core Purpose

To Help Facility Managers optimize the total cost of their water systems by improving safety and efficiency.

Integrity. Innovation. Independence. Market Leadership.

Who We Are

Phigenics was founded in 2004 by Ashton McCombs, Dr. William McCoy and Jay Reading with the vision of "Optimizing operational efficiency and improving safety in building water systems to produce balanced systems that save money and enhance the quality of life."

The three founders left the water treatment industry and started Phigenics as an INDEPENDENT and innovative company that helps facility owners and managers develop and implement comprehensive water management programs.

Phigenics also provides independent verification and validation services to ensure programs are safe, efficient, and defensible while optimizing operational (water, chemical, energy) and capital costs.

The company is the leading independent provider of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-aligned and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) S&C 17-30-aligned water management programs.

Clients such as Atrium Health, Walmart, Mandarin Oriental, University of Calgary and Veterans Health Administration trust Phigenics to help keep their water and energy costs down and their patients and customers safe. Phigenics has industry-leading experts and provides Legionella Testing Services, with clients in all 50 states. Download our Company Brochure.

Industries we serve

Healthcare Icon-1 - v2
(Hospitals and Long-term care)
Hospitality Icon - v2
Food & Beverage

Our Founders

Ashton McCombs
Dr. William McCoy

Tenure with Phigenics

Co-founded Phigenics in 2004.

Prior Experience

Prior to Phigenics, 20 years in commercial development, management of technology, intellectual property development and R&D for large multi-national corporations (Rohm and Haas Co., Great Lakes Chemical Company and Nalco Chemical Company).

The International Water Association published Bill's full-length book entitled Preventing Legionellosis in 2005.

Published 26 patents, 3 patent applications (pending), 8 book chapters and over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles.


  • Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Calgary
  • M.Sc. from the University of Hawaii
  • Executive Management Education from the University of Michigan
  • Two undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Microbiology from California State University, Long Beach

Affiliations and Certifications

  • Non-Transient, Non-Community Public Water Supply Operator, IDPH I.D. #11890
  • Member (appointed) to World Health Organization committee to write a global guideline entitled Legionella and the Prevention of Legionellosis, Published 2007.
  • Board of Directors, ALDA Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Symposium Chairman (appointed) of National Association of Corrosion Engineers, for the 1997 meeting of T-7A-16 (Application/Misapplication of Biocides).
  • Chairman (elected), Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Research Center, National Science Foundation, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, 1992-1994. Directed activities of the Advisory Board, especially in strategic planning.
  • Chairman (appointed), Joint Task Group, Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 17th ed., Section 9216, Direct Total Count by Epifluorescence Microscopy. 1990. Led the group that wrote a method that has now been adopted as a standard.
  • Vice-Chairman (elected), National Association of Corrosion Engineers, Work Group T-7A-16c: Biocide Effectiveness Monitoring in Cooling Water Systems.
  • Editor (invited). Member of the Board of Editors for the research and review journal International Biodeterioration, covering the fields of biodeterioration control and biodegradation-biotechnology, 1989-1991.

Analytical Laboratory Certifications

  • USEPA: National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, Registry No. 17595
  • CDC: Environmental Legionella Isolation Technique Evaluation (ELITE) program, Certified 1/16/09
  • Certified Indoor Environmentalist (CIE), Indoor Air Quality Association, 2004
  • Certified HACCP Manager, NSF International and Experior, 2005


  • Suez Trophy of Merit (the highest innovation award given by the group), Brussels, December 2002
  • 2002 Grand Prize Management Innovation Trophy, Suez Group, Brussels, December 2002
  • Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Management and Science, International Water Association, Berlin, 2001
  • Inventor of the Year Award, The Intellectual Property Law Association, Chicago, May 2001
  • 2000 Grand Prize Technical Innovation Trophy, Suez Group, Paris, December 2000
  • Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award, The State of Illinois, 1999
  • R&D 100 Award, Research and Development Magazine, 1998, 40(10):140
  • Rohm and Haas Computer Applications Research Award, November 1986
  • Rohm and Haas Performance Merit Award, January 1986
  • Environmental Protection Agency Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 1982-1984
  • NOVA Foundation Scholar, Full Graduate Research Scholarship, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1981
Jay Reading

Tenure with Phigenics

Co-founder of Phigenics. 

Prior Experience

Jay has over 25 years of water treatment experience in a variety of positions. The first 20 years were spent at Nalco Chemical Company in progressive areas of increased responsibility: Sales Representative, Account Manager, Area Manager, District Manager, Regional Manager and General Manager. Specific areas of focus were the light industrial and institutional water treatment marketplaces. Jay has an extensive background in the following areas:

  • Cogeneration
  • Chill Water Storage
  • High Purity Water
  • Steam Generation
  • Waste Treatment
  • HVAC and Process Cooling
  • Potable Water Treatment (Scale/Corrosion Control, Secondary Disinfection)
  • Facility Water Hygiene
  • Chemical and Non-Chemical Water Treatment Strategies

Over the last four years, Jay has focused on helping facilities lower the cost to process water and improve water safety in facilities in the institutional, food and beverage, light industrial, retail and university markets from an independent perspective. The above goals are accomplished by building facility water management programs that take full advantage of in-place equipment, readily available (proven) technologies and existing facility personnel resources.

Clients with Water Management Programs utilizing Phigenics’ resources and Jay Reading’s leadership will see a 2-10% reduction in energy used to process water and a 20-50% reduction in water treatment expenses (water, chemical, sewer and operating expenses). In addition, Jay has been instrumental in building into Phigenics Water Management Programs a HACCP (Hazard Assessment and Critical Control Points) based water safety plan to prevent bacteria pathogens (Legionella, AFB, etc) from harming employees and customers.


  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Washington
  • Suez Executive Leadership Program

Affiliations and Certifications

  • Certified HACCP Manager
  • Certified Indoor Environmentalist
  • Life Loyal Sigma Chi


  • District Manager of the Year, Nalco Chemical Company, 1992 and 1997
  • General Manager Leadership Award, Nalco Chemical Company, 1995
Why the name Phigenics?

The meaning of the word “Phigenics” relates to the Founders’ vision: Optimizing operational efficiency and improving safety in building water systems to produce balanced systems that save money and enhance the quality of life.

The word “Phigenics” is a combinational play on the word “phi” (we also use the symbol for phi, φ, in our logo) and the suffix “-genics”. φ refers to an optimized system in which components are continuously in balance. Discovered by ancient Greek mathematicians, this ratio, φ, shows up in an array of balanced systems and has been called “The Golden Mean” or “The Divine Proportion”. An interesting aspect of φ is its relation to probability and risk. The Italian mathematician, Fibonacci, first described the predictive value of numbers in his famous Fibonacci series, which approaches the numerical value of φ. His work established the basis for what has become the science of risk analysis and risk management.

The suffix “-genics” means “producing, forming or causing to produce or form”. For example, biogenic means “produced from a biological source” and pathogenic refers to something that produces disease.

Thus, Phigenics is about using the predictive power of risk management processes to produce for our clients balanced systems that optimize safety and operational efficiency.

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