Pump attracts more than a trickle of sales

INTERNATIONAL interest in locally developed water pump technology has prompted the inventor to embark on a capital raising venture in order to exploit new markets.

The Smartaflow Chlorisafe water pump is the result of several years of research by Chris Speight, who had two decades’ experience as a mechanical engineer at the Water Corporation. Mr Speight began work on the project to address what he believed was a weakness in water dose pumping technology.

“We have had a lot of interest from overseas markets but it still needs to be proven over time. We want to take it overseas and do further research and development,” Mr Speight said.

“We have had a lot of orders and we don’t want to deplete our resources. That is why we are capital raising.”

The Smartaflow Chlorisafe has attracted interest because, unlike traditional dosing pumps, it accurately regulates the level of liquid chlorine in the water supply and is more cost effective, according to Mr Speight.

He said regional areas were at a higher risk of unregulated water supply because the conventional dose pumps became faulty at times of low water use.

“The current technology wasn’t sufficient. The pumps would stall at the low flow and that meant there was an unreliable level of chlorine,” Mr Speight said. 

“If you tried to make it so that the pumps do not stall, the water becomes over chlorinated and you get unregulated supply.

“This product is capable of meeting low flows accurately and reliably. We have taken a different approach to the technology. The Smartaflow pumps on a horizontal rather than a vertical.”

The Water Corporation has purchased five of the systems and Mr Speight’s company, AQ2, has received significant interest from the US, New Zealand, and Malaysia.

“We’d like to have people based in these locations to sell the Smartaflow System,” Mr Speight said.

“We’re aiming for $50 million in sales over the next five years. That is a tough challenge but one that we have embraced.”

He said the adoption of improving water quality standards was helping drive demand for the product.

“While primarily eliminating the risks associated with the transport, handling, storage and application of chlorine gas, the system also opens up increased water re-use possibilities,” Mr Speight said.

“Overall, the benefits of Smartaflow Chlorisafe include greater safety and greatly reduced operating and maintenance costs.”

AQ2 is also investigating other applications of the technology.

The company plans to develop increasingly miniaturised variants – economically viable micro disinfection systems that will allow a far greater range of water re-use options to be exploited. 

“We also see significant potential in adapting the technology for agriculture, any industry requiring precise, effective and safe dosing of hazardous or other chemicals,” Mr Speight said.

Mr Speight presented and showcased his product at the recent 2003 Ozwater Conference and Exhibition held in Perth.

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