Ten years of drought across Victoria and dwindling water resources has resulted in more companies looking to develop innovative technologies such as greywater systems to address re-use opportunities within the home.
While this is fantastic news for the water industry, there is still a challenge to ensure that these technologies and greywater systems meet with industry standards before receiving EPA Victoria Approval.
This has led to the need to provide an independent and robust testing facility for new greywater treatment devices, prior to such devices entering the market.
CSIRO, through the Water for Healthy Country Flagship, was awarded a Smart Water Fund grant to set up an independent laboratory to test greywater devices for their effectiveness in removing specific contaminants from selected greywaters under a typical range of operating conditions.
The project also involved establishing an approved test protocol to be used both within the parameters of this project and for future use by other relevant organisations. This will ensure experience and knowledge gathered from this project is captured and put to future use.
This project has provided some key lessons for the greywater industry as a whole involving system installation, commissioning and operation of greywater systems.
These lessons will be able to be used by manufacturers and new players to the industry alike, through providing valuable information on systems issues. These issues are addressed and rectified within the testing phase, therefore minimising the cost involved in developing future prototypes.
It also provided the opportunity for protocol development, highlighting the need for robust and replicable procedures to assess health and environmental risks.
This project has resulted in the development of an effective greywater testing protocol which will provide invaluable assistance to future and current manufacturers of greywater devices.
It also resulted in the establishment of an independent robust testing facility. This will further advance the understanding and suitability of different greywater treatment processes for particular applications and scales of operation and addresses concerns of regulatory bodies.
All testing of systems is undertaken within a controlled environment, allowing robust testing of both potential health and environmental risks which cannot always be undertaken with on-site household trials.