Undoubtedly one of the biggest issues facing humans on the planet is access to clean, drinkable water.
Especially for those in developing countries, where even groundwater is becoming more and more polluted from ever-growing intense industrialisation.
The water contamination is also becoming highly complex with a multitude of pollutants now in water sources, including heavy metals, toxic chemicals and pathogens.
Yet one company, based in Byron Shire, say they have a revolutionary and affordable system that can treat a wide variety of contaminants to produce large quantities of clean drinkable water from different water sources – simply and effectively.
And that even includes eliminating traditionally difficult heavy metals, such as arsenic, which is fast becoming a major contributor to extremely poor health and short life expectancy in developing countries.
Where Infinite Water differs from other water treatment systems, says managing director Dr Agatha Walczuk, is that it is an integrated technology whereby one core technology can treat a wide range of water – from industrial wastewater through to drinking water. It has unlimited capacity, small size and low ongoing cost (up to 90 per cent less than other systems), she says.
Remarkably, Dr Walczuk says their filtration system can treat 100,000 litres of water a day using a single-phase household power point and recovers more than 95 per cent of the filtered water.
‘It is technology that has been in development for more than ten years and led by our technical director Gheorghe Duta. Duta has refined “Catalytic Advanced Oxidation” and “Advanced Oxidation” processes, which have ‘led to unprecedented leaps in cost benefits, robustness and overall capabilities,’ she says.
‘Our patented technology has been proven to treat highly contaminated water to the most demanding standards – simply, effectively and cost competitively.
‘Conventional water treatment systems are complex and expensive,’ she says.
‘Existing solutions to date have been largely ineffective, expensive to operate, or too large and require much infrastructure, power and chemical input.’
It’s also adaptable in size and scale, with a modular, scalable design. ‘The filter reactor only needs replacing every 10 years,’ she adds.
How it works
‘The system is so well integrated that it involves only two stages. In simple terms, the raw water is pumped into a conditioning tank and dosed with specific (non-toxic) chemicals to correct the pH, prevent bacteria and mould and to prepare the water for stage two.’
‘It’s then pumped through the filter reactor where a highly oxidative process occurs. At this point, pathogens are destroyed, heavy metals are precipitated, while chemicals and organic matter are degraded.’
A joint venture is currently underway in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, says Dr Walczuk, where they are designing and constructing a large-scale manufacturing facility. The technology is so impressive that the Chinese government has approved an Infinite Water system to be placed in Zhong Guan Village, Beijing – the Silicon Valley of China.
Additionally Dr Walczuk says there are projects under negotiation with governments and private companies in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Samoa and PNG.
‘It’s heartbreaking to see people with such poor health in places like Bangladesh’, Dr Walczuk says. ‘Many of us don’t realise it yet but the world is running out of clean water. There are countries around the world that have even polluted their deep aquifers. We are working to develop a sustainable future for our water. The focus is to help those who are unable to access clean water. We believe that access to safe clean water and sanitation is a basic human right.’
As for choosing to base themselves in Byron Bay, Dr Walczuk says the team were attracted to the area around a year ago because of the people and the unique beauty of the region. ‘There are so many progressive and open- minded people here,’ she says. ‘It’s a perfect fit for us.’
And if you are wondering about the quality of the local water, Duta says it’s actually pretty good.
‘We tested it and while it is slightly deficient in minerals, the actual quality is good. Mineral deficiency is actually fairly common in Australia,’ he says.
For more info visit www.infinitewater.com.