When ECONSE Water Purification Systems Inc. first began developing commercial solutions for its new water purification technology, it reached out to WaterTAP for some guidance on where to find a fit for its solutions. Where were the most significant gaps in the market?
WaterTAP introduced ECONSE to the BLOOM Centre for Sustainability, a partner organization with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to encourage commercial partnerships between industries and innovators to demonstrate new cleantech solutions.
BLOOM and OMAFRA had been looking for wastewater solutions to help Ontario’s growing food and beverage sector, including the wine and craft beer businesses that have flooded the North American marketplace. Wineries and small craft brewers often do not have the resources to manage the wastewater treatment that is a necessary complement to daily operations. They are also often hampered by space and capital concerns, and, when connected to a municipal sewage system, can run into effluent challenges that result in fines.
With this knowledge, ECONSE developed the BrüClean System. Designed to solve the many wastewater treatment problems facing the food and beverage industry, this integrated solution specifically targets craft breweries.
“Our system is affordable and it incurs a low greenhouse gas footprint, which is appealing for new and existing businesses,” he says. “With BrüClean, ECONSE began to gain recognition from small and medium-sized businesses that, previously, had very few options for sustainable onsite wastewater treatment.”
With support from BLOOM and WaterTAP, ECONSE began a joint project with members of Ontario Craft Brewers to commence several months of pilot testing and analysis, while working closely with brewery staff to better understand their needs and challenges. “We’ve received first-rate support from WaterTAP,” Davy says. “WaterTAP is a trusted partner in helping cleantech startups like ECONSE gain market awareness and strengthen networks, both within the commercial sector and with government agencies.”
“Since the beginning, WaterTAP has provided a very good overview of the water treatment sector, engaging our questions and ideas as we found our way to market,” he says. “Overall, the organization played a key role in helping ECONSE build our network with government, industry partners, and customers.”
The company’s first commercial installation was at Sawdust City Brewery in Gravenhurst, Ontario. By treating the wastewater on-site, the BrüClean System reduces the burden on the District of Muskoka’s Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). This installation will save the District money and energy by solving the problem at the source, where it costs significantly less to treat compared to treatment at the WWTP. This has allowed the Brewery to continue to operate and grow within the community while meeting the bylaw effluent targets.
In fall 2017, ECONSE will be expanding its efforts with its first demonstration at a winery. “We are excited to showcase our solution in sectors beyond craft beer,” Davy says. “For this project, we will deploy our mobile trailer and pilot system to gain valuable real-time experience as we adapt our machine to treat winery effluent. We have really made a name for ourselves in the beer and now wine sectors, and WaterTAP has assisted us through that growth.”