Published: 03rd November 2020
How this device developed by Chennai start-up Earth Fokus will help save 95% of wastewater
IIT-Madras incubated start-up Earth Fokus has created adaptors that can easily be attached to your taps for you to become a bit more environment-friendly. We find out how
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the primary precaution we are taking is washing our hands at least for 20-40 seconds approximately 20 times a day. Imagine how much tap water the entire population combined would be using every single day. But what if a small eco-friendly and affordable addition to your tap could save up to 95 per cent of the water that is going down the drain unused? IIT-Madras incubated start-up Earth Fokus has come up with adaptors that can easily be attached to your taps for you to become al bit more environmentally conscious and be safe at the same time. Founded in 2017 by Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates Arun Subramaniam (24) and Roshan Karthik, Earth Fokus' products Quamist and Ecomist are tiny prism-shaped nozzles that help save water by turning it into mist.
It can be fixed by anyone and no, you don't need to call a plumber. The products use the process and technology of atomisation where it converts one drop of water to millions of droplets. "A normal tap will give you 10-15 litres of water per minute but with our product, in mist form, it gives 500 millilitres per minute. The attachment goes into your existing tap, pretty easy to fit it. Our main goal right now is to help save water while people wash their hands. The virus is here to stay, people are washing their hands more times than ever, over 20 times a day. And every time you wash, you waste a lot of water, it goes down the drain unused. With our product what happens is it converts the water into mist, thus there's no wastage and it is more than enough to wash your hands," explains Arun.
Keeping the sustainability factor in mind, their product is made using eco-brass, which is the highest quality brass available in the country. The products' durability is at least 5-6 years and they might last longer if you maintain it well, adds Arun. Recalling how they first came up with a water saver, Arun tells us, "I would call it an accidental start-up. It started as a project for my neighbour as she wanted me to design a water saver for her. Later, when I showed it to my professor, he said I could think of commercialising it. My neighbour was my first investor, technically. Initially, we just had one water saver which we called the Quamist, and it took me close to six months to get the product completed perfectly. I used to go for installations, check if it fits, what changes were needed to be made further etc. We received a lot of feedback, then gradually, we perfected the product. Following this, we began supplying to commercial spaces, just before when the water scarcity issue began in Chennai. We had already come up with two products — Quamist, for individual purposes, and Ecomist, for commercial purposes. One company had already been testing our products by then and were quite satisfied. We had then implemented our product pan India. Back then, we got the data from a single building and it was close to 21,000 litres of water being saved every single day with Ecomist installed."
Soon, a lot of people began purchasing Quamist for their own purposes, adds Arun. "We had been getting feedback where they said that it was difficult to wash utensils in mist mode so they wanted a shower/flow mode. Just before the pandemic hit, we had launched the second version for both our products. Now we have a range of products that cater to the needs of various types of customers. It has been made more customer-friendly, the products will also work in low water pressure conditions and it also has a shower mode for washing vessels," he explains. With Quamist, every household is at least saving 50 litres a day. There is a visible difference, he says, even with the shower mode, you will be saving 80-85 per cent of water.
Going forward, Earth Fokus wants to increase the range of their products. "We wish to get into other sectors like health, something for showers. We also are planning to expand and take our products abroad. We want to supply to schools here in India, even in rural areas. Children should get to know how to save water, it is important to cultivate this habit from an early age," concludes Arun.