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Drainwave Tipping Counter, Australia

Tuesday 05 Jul 2011

Clear drains, clear conscience

Drainwave Tipping Counter by Drainwave in Australia
Drainwave Tipping Counter by Drainwave in Australia Drainwave Tipping Counter by Drainwave in Australia Drainwave Tipping Counter by Drainwave in Australia
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The tipping counter attaches to the tipping bucket of the Drainwave and counts the frequency (and therefore volume) of bucket activation tips 

In Australia (and overseas) regulatory authorities have introduced levies to businesses based on their waste output; but prior to the tipping counter had no way to accurately measure that output.

The tipping counter links to the Drainwave product. The Drainwave, consisting of a receptacle with a swinging bucket, sits underground outside a building, with an inlet point and an outlet point. The Drainwave captures waste from the business and combines it with other grey water until it reaches capacity, causing the self-tipping bucket to release a 9.5 litre pulse flush down the drain line.

The tipping counter utilises a battery and a generator powered by the tipping mechanism to constantly power the electric circuitry. This circuit is used to record the movement of waste and to transfer this information to a central repository. Software is utilised to interpret this data.

The monitoring technology is activated by the swinging of the bucket. By counting the number of tips of the Drainwave, the waste leaving from a business can be easily calculated. The tipping counter simply attaches to the Drainwave and counts each 9.5 litre tip. This data can be used by regulatory authorities to provide a fair and equitable means to levy commercial enterprises based on their waste output.

The product also has application in residential premises.

Waterloo Crescent Cafe - Battery Point - Tasmania

The Problem

Southern Water in Tasmania had been looking at ways to quantify how much waste industry produces. They were also interested in quantifying the amount of water utilised by business to produce waste. The tipping counter provides a means to measure both.

The Solution

A Drainwave and a tipping counter were installed at the outlet of the grease trap at this site. This allows Southern Water to quantify the amount of waste expelled from the cafe. The presence of the Drainwave also has the added benefit of ensuring that the waste does not bank up and cause blockages. 

A water metre has also been installed at this property to measure water consumption; thereby providing a means for Southern Water to determine the amount of water utilised by the business to produce waste.

This data will be used by Southern Water to put in place a fair and equitable levy regime for this business.

To date, an effective and reliable means of monitoring waste disposal has not been available. There are a number of flow meters on the market designed to measure the outflow of effluent from an entry point to an exit point. However this technology is notoriously unreliable and prone to break down. The tipping counter is a much cheaper and more reliable means of measuring waste disposal.

The main advantage that the tipping counter have over these technologies are:

Cost: typically the cost of flow metres starts at around $3500; the cost of the Drainwave and the tipping counter would generally be no more than $1500 (including installation).

Management: given the much lower cost of the tipping counter, regulatory authorities are able to install the tipping counter permanently in commercial premises instead of undertaking ongoing monitoring.

Does not require an independent power source: the tipping counter utilises a generator to power the circuit that operates the device, therefore it does not require an independent power source and is suitable for remote locations.

Dual functionality: the tipping counter in conjunction with the Drainwave not only measures output but also limits risk of blockage.

Assisting Architects achieve design outcomes:

The product has been installed on a number of commercial sites to enable accurate tracking of effluent distribution from commercial premises, and to encourage commercial premises to be environmentally responsible.

This technology enables designers of buildings to produce data (in relation to effluent management and water consumption by a business or household) to support their environmental credentials.  Eventually it is anticipated that this technology will be linked to Green Star ratings and to WELS ratings.

Evolution from an earlier idea:

The Victorian Engineers utilised a similar method to ensure sufficient drain flow through sewerage networks. The Drainwave is a modern conversion of this idea. The tipping counter takes advantage of this earlier technology and combines it with modern technology to record effluent dispersal.

Use of innovation:

The ability of the tipping counter to monitor waste disposal provides, for the first time, the ability to record a wide range of data associated with waste disposal within a business or household, including industrial waste or domestic waste from toilets, baths and other facilities. Such data can provide valuable information on the use and generation of waste by commercial or residential premises

De-risking the use of another product:

The Drainwave paves the way for the introduction of 'user pays' waste management taxation regimes. Data generated from the tipping counter provides a useful basis for regulatory authorities to monitor and measure waste output from businesses or residences and thereby determine levies and fees associated with waste generation and dispersal (based on principles of user pays).

Reinventing Cities

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