Austrialia-based company, EcoNova, has been awarded a substantial grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and implement sustainable projects that adequately contribute to Australia’s diminishing water supply.
The funding, awarded as part of the Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund, will be used to further research and develop EcoNova’s MembraneSafe Technology into a revolutionary grey water only system.
Investigations among potential customers found that existing grey water systems are too large, too expensive or too difficult to manage. EcoNova has shown that their MembraneSafe Technology can deliver the results and they will now embark on a $500K project to miniaturize the system, which can be implemented in households across Australia at a significantly reduced size of existing systems, at competitive prices and with reduced maintenance requirements.
“We expect exciting developments in the near future with significant changes to legislation, which currently inhibits the use of recycled water back into the household, Christian Uhrig, general manager of EcoNova, said. “While most Australian states currently have guidelines relating to recycling of sewage effluent for irrigation purposes with conventional means, there are some gaps and discrepancies remaining in their criteria for urban uses and water types, and hopefully with the availability of our superior technology we will see a change in this legislation.”
This change would enable the highest class of recycled water produced from EcoNova’s domestic systems to be available for toilet flushing, laundry reuse and other household duties.
“The government and scientists now understand that rain water tanks are not the solution, as it just doesn’t rain often enough to make a difference. Our recycling solutions can provider up to 68% of the water needed by a household every day of the year while having the lifestyle people want to live and saving potable water,” Uhrig said.
Recent drought conditions have focused attention on the issue of water recycling and raised awareness that the present demands on Australian water utilities are heavy and set to intensify.
Water and wastewater are among the fastest-growing utility sectors; however, realizing the significance of sustainable water recycling projects is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.
Photo: Premier Anna Bligh presents EcoNova General Manager, Christian Uhrig, with the Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation grant.