Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT July 2016

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 17 of 39

18 | JULY 2016 | WWT | www.wwtonline.co.uk What is it? Waterblade is a flow-modification device that fits to taps used for hand- washing, which makes it possible to wash your hands in a satisfactory manner while using substantially less water. Its design uses the natural surface tension of the water to spread the flow into a paper-thin sheet of water, which hands can pass through for washing. What's innovative about it? Currently, most water-saving nozzles for taps are aerators, which bulk up the flow of water with air. These give a water flow rate of 6-8 litres per minute, compared to 10-20 litres per minute for a standard tap. By contrast, Waterblade's design means What's the target market? The device can be used anywhere that hands are washed, but is expected to be particularly attractive for use in offices, commercial environments and leisure facilities where there is high water usage. It can be fitted to any tap which has an isolating valve (which more than 95% of European taps do). It is easily and quickly installed: a recent installation of 30 units on one premises took a single person an hour and a half. What they say: Waterblade recently won Most Innovative New Technology of the Year at the Water Industry Achievement Awards, which are jointly organised by WWT. "This is genuinely innovative and could save a lot of water," said the panel of judges for the awards. "It's a simple concept, but then all the best innovations are." Innovation Zone highlights examples of innovative water sector technology. Ideas for future inclusions can be sent to: james.brockett@fav-house.com it is effective at just 2.5 litres of per minute – a relative trickle of water – saving even more water and still washing hands efficiently. What benefits does it bring? Trials indicate that for a domestic tap that is used for five minutes a day, fitting a Waterblade device would result in savings of over 13,600 litres of water per year, or £51 in annual cost, compared to a standard tap. Energy savings of around £15 per year can also be made by the reduced need to heat water. Savings could be bigger for taps that are used more o›en. As the device costs just £7.50, it is estimated that each unit can pay for itself in just two months. How was it developed? Waterblade was originally conceived at the University of Brighton as part of a project concentrating on reducing hot water use in bathrooms. Its creator, Nigel Bamford, soon realised that the idea had universal water saving potential, and made 500 prototypes over a two-year period in order to perfect the design. It is now commercially available. Innovation zone l This month, we look at a water-saving nozzle for taps which could promote water efficiency in the bathroom at home, in offices and other commercial environments Waterblade Water-saving tap fitting Waterblade (top) won the Outstanding Innovation award

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