Some years back, Rhett Butler, a Siemens Water Technologies employee in Sydney, Australia, developed a small, mobile water treatment system: the SkyHydrant. Embracing his passion to improve the quality of people’s lives, he later founded SkyJuice, a non-profit organisation, in 2005 with the aim to promote SkyHydrants in both rural and urban areas.
Now, Rhett and his team have further developed the SkyHydrant to accommodate automatic filtration. The result is the “AquaVendor,” which runs on the same principle as its sophisticated predecessor and also uses the same membrane fibres. The difference is that the system no longer needs to be operated manually. Instead, a small control device operates the AquaVendor, making the filtration and purification processes fully automatic.
The system is also cleaned automatically every 20 to 30 minutes by a small blower that injects air into the filter in order to remove any residue caught in the membranes. The space-saving device can produce up to 25,000 litres of drinking water per day, which is twice as much water as the SkyHydrant can manage.
The only thing that’s needed for the Aqua-Vendor is a power socket — everything else runs fully automatically and requires a minimal amount of maintenance. According to Rhett, the portable water treatment plant is ideal for residential buildings, small urban water co-operatives and small volume industrial users.
“It could be installed in every hotel or multi-family home in India and China — just imagine the possibilities,” he says. “You could transform rainwater that has been collected on rooftops into valuable drinking water.”
The new water treatment system is currently being refined in Sydney before it makes its way into thirsty markets throughout the developing world.