The SA Innovation Summit Inventors Garage competition affords SA innovators and inventors – from kitchen and garage inventors, to seasoned innovators and engineering students with a demo, working prototype or product from proven concept to early commercialisation stage – the opportunity to compete and showcase their inventions at the SA Innovation Summit stage.
We chat to 2017 Inventors Garage 3rd place winner, Benard Wessels about his innovation called Water Rescue. He shares his experience in participating in the competition and his entrepreneurial journey.
What is Water Rescue?
Water Rescue supplies a unique grey water system. The system is green, DIY and user friendly built. It consists of a 260L tank with a built-in 40L “fat-trap”, for collection of grey water. Grey water is treated with Eco-friendly Bacteria, no filters and low maintenance.
- No need to clean filters that can cause hazardous issues while cleaning
- No need to dispose greywater within 24 hours, no rotten water (allows STORAGE)
- Low maintenance – change bacteria sachet monthly – no physical contact with greywater
- Bacteria becomes fertilizer for garden
- Eco friendly Bacteria – safe for humans, animal and environment
- Bacteria restores natural PH in soil
- User-friendly DIY installation
- Built-in fat trap collects all household water including kitchen (only system), except toilet
- Dissolves fat, oils and household chemicals
- Treated greywater can be used through irrigation system, general cleaning around house, reconnect as water supply for toilets, dishwasher and washing machine
What impact can your product have?
This system is designed for the ordinary household to really save water. Meeting the demand for water in the 21st Century, requires a different way of thinking about water! Water is still taken for granted. Besides wasting water, the pressure of population growth, climate change with less rain and depletion of ground water resources are reasons for communities struggling just to have enough water for daily use. Blaming bad management is not going to change the problem. Installing storage tanks for harvesting rain water is a start, but in desperate need of a lot of rain. Grey water capture in different ways and carrying buckets around, next possible solution, but with human nature – so much effort and in long run, pollution of the environment.
Taking in consideration the next figures, you can see the impact that this grey water system can have when installed. 5% of your daily Municipal Water Usage is consumed by means of drinking water and cooking, 30% get flushed through the toilets, bath/showers 40%, basin 5%, dishes 10% and laundry 10%. That leaves you with 65% overall water usage that can be recovered, treated and store for re-use. When used as water supply to toilets, Municipal Drinking water can be reduced by another 30%. Amazing!
What has participating in the Inventor’s Garage competition meant for your business?
For start – confidence boost! Just to be surrounded by people with hopes and dreams as yours, wanting to make a difference, was a high light. The competition is an amazing platform to learn more about business challenges, strategies and overall your challenges regarding your product. The competition opened doors for us in marketing our business and has given us the edge to get going! With this competition as platform, we still hope for City of Cape Town to take note of this product, acknowledge, support and implementing as a building necessity or requirement.
What challenges were you faced with while building your product?
Anything that is just an idea, needs to be built and sourced from nothing, starts with a challenge! It was quite time consuming to get the correct water flow and volume of bacteria for treatment in place.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs or those looking to start their own business?
Just make the start! Keep on trying! Do your homework and if you are sure that this product can make a difference and even create jobs, try to get financial back up of some sort and go for it!