Preview Article: Pure and Simple

Here’s something that’s so straightforward it’s got people suspicious. Elizabeth DeFriest meets plumber, Kevin Venville, whose H2O PurePlus water cleaning system is set for big things…
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In Australia – where water is becoming more precious by the day – we have access to an insanely simple water-cleaning system. It’s cheap to install and run, effective and, even better, been developed and patented by a very capable Australian plumber.

Strange then, that master plumber, Kevin Venville, has come up against some resistance here at home. (Overseas, he’s setting up trial sites.) But there’s no point dwelling on how short-sighted many of our local government health, environment and water officials are being. No doubt they’ll end up buying into the technology, but probably only after it’s been given the big tick in places such as Singapore and Dubai…

Luckily, everyone has access to H2O PurePlus® right now via a web presence (www.h2opureplus.com.au), Kevin’s system – which is finding broader applications by the minute – is readily available with as much add-on advice and consultation as you need. This is something any green plumber needs to know about, because it solves several water related problems in one hit. Check these out…

Run any dirty water through it – tannin stained, grey, black – and it delivers potable water which is cleaner than current government mains drinking water standards. Here’s a big tick for putting grotty water back into use. If you make use of the clean water that comes out of the system then you’ve saved the dollars. Another tick for getting off town water and being frugal.
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Use it anywhere – from a one bedroom unit to a factory. Its modules let you scale up or down. Another tick for design flexibility. Install it on a new site or as a retrofit. Great! Another tick.

Check out some other systems and you’ll soon see that H2O PurePlus is relatively cheap to set up and insanely cheap to run. Tick, tick. Maintenance is virtually non-existent. Tick!

And if you look at the big picture, treating water on the site where it can be used again, and without having to buy it back, saves spending on big infrastructure (dams, desalination, pipes) and the cost of moving clean water to where it’s needed.

Funnily enough, the technology behind H2O PurePlus is not new, just refined and smartened up to the point where it has earned patents. Says Kevin, “I was putting together crude versions of this system 22 years ago and they’re still running,” said Kevin. “I could never let go of the idea because the system just makes sense.”

Basically, water passes through a series of baffles to break down the solids before being fed into a tank filled with a magic recipe of sand. The anaerobic bacteria which rides in with the dirty water, colonises the filtering media and cleans the water. Apart from a pump to feed the clean water up into a storage tank ready for re-use, the system is gravity fed and needs no chemicals or re-inoculation of bacteria.

This is the basic format and it can be set up at its most minimal – in a one bathroom unit to treat water from a shower, basin or laundry – or at an abattoir to treat between 30 and 60 mega litres a year. “When Churchill Abattoir applied for one of our ecoBiz rebates, we assessed their proposal using several criteria – such as the potable water and energy savings,” explained John Moraitis of the Queensland EPA. “We also consider diffusion potential, in other words, does the technology have the potential for broader applications.”
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Not surprisingly, H2O PurePlus scored well on all counts and having been identified as environmentally worthy, funding was forthcoming. Up and running for about eight months, currently water is taken from various sites at the facility – among them, the kill floor – and fed through a series of settling ponds to remove the fats. It’s then put through a H2O PurePlus system before being stored prior to re-use.

Says the abattoir’s environmental engineer, Mike Spence: “The filter’s certainly doing its job and while at present we’re using the recycled water mainly for washing down, once we’ve sorted the algae in the settling ponds we’ll be using it as feedwater for the boiler and in the condensing towers.” Not only is the abattoir expecting savings of up to $70,000 a year, but the facility isn’t putting pressure on limited town water supplies.

Kevin Venville’s vision for his system is as simple as the H2O PurePlus itself. “I’m not after big dollars – I’m just happy to get back what I’ve put into it,” he said. “My kids live in the surf here, and what you see coming down the waterways and going out to destroy the sea grass and the coral makes you want to do something about it. I’d like to say that I was part of something which made a difference.”

To read the rest of this article, go to page 28 of Australian Hardware Journal’s September issue.