After lot of adventures and a very long night between Chennai and Singapore in transit in Colombo airport, but still a too short night to get ready for such a culture shock. After a crazy journey, we finally arrive in front of this strange little building, 3 floors grey with huge mysterious doors and long corridors. We don’t really know if we are in a crazy scientist lab or in a bank safe. Reality is something else: here is a great heap of Singaporean start-up.
#03-10 : floor 3, mysterious door number 10, welcome to Ecosoftt.
At Ecosoftt, there is one conviction well fixed: the wastewater treatment decentralisation. Today, we are always talking about big plant for centralised treatment, but these cost a lot, requires complicated maintenance and time consuming to be implemented. Most cities are not able to assume such costs, and more than all, these big plants are taking part in a grid, neglecting many isolated communities, which are off-grid. In fact in every grid there are some gaps.
That’s why Ecosoftt is setting up different technical solutions: simple, low-cost, low-tech and for sure environmentally friendly! These solutions can be adapted to any scale, from resorts to the campuses, passing through the green condominiums.
The goals of this little start-up, which after only 4 years of living has already made much progress in the community-led programmes and has the vision to :
- Reduce of 50% the water footprint
- Re-use 80% of the treated wastewater
- Use potable water only for drinking purpose
In fact, the figures are undeniable, freshwater represents less than1% of our water reserves, the global water quantity stays the same. Water for drinking constitutes to only 2% of our daily water need . Despite that we still use potable water to wash ourselves, to flush, to water our garden or wash our car. In developing countries more than 70% of the used water are thrown back to nature without any treatment adding more to the already dire water crisis. In this context, it’s urgent to act and Ecosoftt has well understood it, offering 3 types of technical solutions:
- A bioreactor using worms, sand and gravel filters, and ending with a UV treatment, producing fertilizer and water which could be re-used for agriculture, recharge or any other non-potable purpose.
- The Poseidon system, providing complete biological reactions in one tank, thanks to an ingenious recirculation system, sets up a combination of aerobic, anaerobic and anoxic processes. It permits to make a very compact and efficient solution.
- AIRR system (Air Intermittent Recirculating Reactor) combining microorganism and recirculation.
Similarities of these technical solutions are: low maintenance, low energy consumption, no sludge production, no odor, adaptable to different scales.
In addition, Ecosoftt is also a social business implementing projects in India with SAAMARTH their social impact program created in 2014. The final goal: 10,000 community-led transformation programmes for water, sanitation and livelihoods. Today there are already 3 Indian villages which have benefitedfrom this program, including: individual toilets with flushing system, individual bathrooms, low-cost wastewater treatment, drinking water access, groundwater recharge, and protection of rivers and lakes.
And because it’s endless, Ecosoftt also has a unique water and environmentaleducation program , adapted to any curriculum from schools to institutes of higher learning and corporate.
We ended our meeting by a visit to their test plant in CleanTech 1 the green building of NTU, where Ecosoftt tries to prove to the local authorities that decentralized wastewater treatment at individual building is feasible, is needed and is sustainable and reliable.