Every drop counts

Anugraha Rao
Monday, 2 March 2020

Altered, with the help of technology, is changing the ways you experience and use water

We are already in March and soon, the pictures of dried up waterbodies and stories of water crisis from various parts of our country will start appearing in media. Depleting natural resources has been a major concern for the past many years across the globe. Of course, there have been intense and consistent efforts to overcome the situation but not many of them have been able to make a huge impact. 

Swedish duo Mikael Abbhagen, a design graduate and professional and KajMickos, who taught companies to come up with innovative practices, came up with the idea to use technology to drastically reduce water and energy usage without sacrificing user experience, functionality and design. And that’s how Altered: Nozzle came into existence. 

Mickos noticed that in an ordinary faucet, 10 to 12 litres of water runs out per minute. His idea was to atomise the water so every drop gets used. “Regular taps give maximum flow, hence adding to the wastage of water. Fitting our nozzles in the taps makes it possible to use every single drop of water,” says Abbhagen, claiming that Altered nozzles use only 2 per cent of the water compared to the regular tap.

The nozzles give two types of water flow -- Mist and Spray. The Mist mode diffuses water into millions of droplets which makes it easier for you to brush your teeth, wash your hands and veggies etc, using only 2 per cent of the water. This leads to 98 per cent saving of water, energy and money. If you need more water, turn the handle to Spray mode. It will fill the glass instantly. It saves 85 per cent of water. This mode can be used to fill pots and pans, wash dishes etc.

HOW IT WORKS
To use the nozzle, you do not need any expert guide. “The installation takes 60 seconds only. The guidelines are mentioned on every pack. Nevertheless, we have a tie-up with Urban Clap in India. One can request for installation under plumbing services for Altered: Nozzle,” informs Abbhagen.

The nozzles are made of lead-free brass, called Ecobrass. It has been specially developed to meet the latest legal and hygienic requirements worldwide. Ecobrass contains no toxic additives such as lead and nickel.

Altered has done a study and come up with facilities across three different segments. The first is hotels. Of course, the utility cost varies greatly around the globe, but if we look at a business case made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a hotel in Texas, USA, it showed that for every 7,50,000 litres of water saved, they lowered their water and energy bill with Rs 1,39,431/ year. 

The second is offices. “With our 100-employee example company, this would mean a financial saving of between 80,000 to 1 lakh rupees per year. Given an estimated investment of Rs 23,736, that means a payback time of less than four months. 

The third is school. Swedish Municipality Klippan installed 97 units in a school and their overall water consumption dropped by 30 per cent, just by installing the nozzles in washroom taps.

“We have sold over 90,000 units across the globe. The acceptance is very high if people are aware and informed of the new product on their tap. We already have installed these nozzles in the USA, European Union and the Middle East. We have been contacted by almost every country in the world, except for Iceland, Cuba and North Korea. We’re available pan India. We’ve installed nozzles in all the metros, along with a few places in Rajasthan and Gujarat,” says Abbhagen.

The product has sustainability effects in three ways. One, it reduces the use of water. This is measured in litres/minute. Secondly, less water leads to a reduction in energy used to heat and transport water. This is measured in kWh. And thirdly, less energy usage leads to lower CO2 emissions. This is measured in tons of CO2. The lowered use of water and energy will also lead to lower utility bills in USD.

Litres/min flow rates in taps vary as per the pressure in the water pipes. But generally older taps have a flow of around 10-12 litres/minute. More modern taps, which are marketed as water saving taps, usually have a flow of around 6-8 litres/minute. “Our nozzles have a gross reduction of the use of water between 98-90 per cent which is 0,25 lit/min - 1,1 lit/min. It takes 5 Kwh for heating 100 litres of water. An average of 450 gram of CO2 is required per Kwh produced. The industry is keen on trying new technologies. They have been a perfect way of testing and getting feedback so we can improve products,” concludes Abbhagen.

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