Paul James , Co-Founder of WaterRenu, on Why Sustainable GrayWater Solutions Are The Future
by Jan Hines
Link to Article on Sweet Startups
March 25, 2016
3 minute read
In this interview, I had the opportunity to chat with Paul James, Co-Founder of WaterRenu. Check out our Q. and A. as he talks about the IrriGRAY system, and the future of water sustainability.
Q: Please provide us with a brief background about yourself, and/or your company, WaterRenu.com?
A: Co-Founder, Paul James, first became involved with graywater irrigation in 2000, designing a simple pumped laundry graywater system including a manually cleaned filter and graywater dripperlines. This technology evolved to suit the extreme Australian droughts.
In 2008, Paul began manufacturing US versions of his Australian products.
When Paul moved to the US in 2011 he realized a completely automated and smart alternative water irrigation system was needed in the US, at an affordable price. The system took 4 years to develop, and is now being installed in existing and new homes across the country.
Q: What inspired the creation of such an innovative company?A: Significant technological advances in the last 5 years have made it possible to develop fully automated solutions for the typical home resident and multi-family / commercial clients. Previously solutions were expensive, adopted by the wealthy or passionately conservation focused clients. By developing a solution that us world leading, yet inexpensive (very short payback), Water ReNu can make a real impact in the world, helping the 95% of residents, rather than just the 5%.
Q: For anyone who may not know, can you please explain what “grey water” is?A: Graywater is the water running down the drains from showers, tubs, laundry washing machine and hand basins. It does not include Toilet waste or Kitchen Waste. Other graywater sources include AC condensate (residential and commercial) and process waste water (commercial / manufacturing).
Q: Who is the ideal client for WaterRenu, and exactly how does it work?A: IrriGRAY captures the graywater in a small pumping basin, pumping the graywater almost immediately to up to 16 irrigation zones. Hair, lint and other solids are filtered out with a self-cleaning filter. Using commercial agriculture irrigation methods, IrriGRAY delivers the precise amount of water required for each zone, every day, to maintain a green landscape and lawn, with the highest irrigation efficiency possible.In addition to being fully automated, each IrriGRAY system sends performance data every minute of activity to the irrigray.com service. The IrriGRAY internet service actively monitors this performance and notifies clients and their contractors if applicable, of any issues, such as someone accidentally putting a spade through an irrigation distribution line. This is critically important for dripperline based irrigation systems – without monitoring, irrigation problems would not be apparent until the landscape started showing signs of stress.Although IrriGRAY was designed for new home construction and retrofit into existing homes, robust design has allowed the system to also be used for Multi-Family housing developments, as well as commercial applications such as hotel laundry waste water re-use.
Q: The sustainable industry is an upward trending market. How do you manage to stay ahead of the curve? A: The innovative and flexible design on the IrriGRAY controller allows us to continually improve irrigation methods, as well as add additional management functions, such as rainwater storage control & use, AC condensate, Reverse Osmosis waste water and much more.The controller software can be upgraded automatically at any time, on a group or individual basis. This allows fast development of additional real world features and keeps IrriGRAY years ahead of other solutions.While initially developed as a graywater management system, In the past few years IrriGRAY has evolved into an entire water management system, utilizing any available alternate water supplies in the most efficient manner, as well as being simple to program / manage.
Q: Future goals for WaterRenu? A: Our primary goal is to continue our focus of providing a total water management solution that is flexible – catering for a wide range of site specific water re-use options – while maintaining simplicity of use.Many technical issues related to water management and water filtration were solved with IrriGRAY, and there are significant opportunities for Water ReNu to release these solutions as economical products for other niche markets, such as well water automatic filtration, water flow management and more.