“This is a great example of the NSW Government making smart investments to create businesses and jobs for the future by helping a NSW company that has potential to make a big impact in global markets,” Mr Ayres said.
Star Water Solutions CEO Christopher Rochfort said his company has developed advanced filters made from organic materials to efficiently and cost effectively treat and reuse urban, industrial, mining and agricultural stormwater runoff.
“The success we are achieving with our filters is amazing. We are rolling out our technology in China, the United States, Canada, Singapore and Australia and the NSW Government has supported us all the way through,” Mr Rochfort said.
Star Water Solutions filters are made using renewable and recycled materials including compost, wood, crushed glass sand and other natural materials. Recycled plastics are also used in their ancillary drainage and storage systems.
“It’s a bit like high tech potting mix created from a combination of materials and soil science together with computer analytics and engineering,” Mr Rochfort said.
In China, Star Water Solutions has partnered with Shanghai Botanic Gardens Green Engineering (SHBGE) to treat polluted Yangtze River water in a demonstration project at Shanghai Botanic Gardens, as part of President Xi Jingping’s ‘Sponge Cities’ initiative to make China’s waterways healthier.
The company is now teaming with SHBGE to provide filter technologies throughout parts of China including Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu.
In the United States, the company has a pilot project with Milwaukee to protect Lake Michigan and is slated to work with Nevada to protect Lake Mead and Lake Tahoe.
In Australia, Star Water Solutions has also developed demonstration sites to treat stormwater including at Rose Bay, Manly, Concord and Canada Bay, and is also planning roll outs in Blacktown, Penrith and Newcastle.
“Our filter systems are also helping about 120 farmers and hobby farmers along the Hawkesbury-Nepean to stop farm nutrients washing as runoff into the river, helping reduce the incidence of blue green algae,” Mr Rochfort said.
“Farmers can also halve their water use because our systems act like a sponge to hold soil moisture for plants saving water and thousands of dollars per hectare on energy bills as they don’t need to pump as much water.
“We are diverting about 24,000 tonnes of organic waste from Sydney landfills each year to make our filter materials but expect that to double in the next two years as we ramp up activities.”