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Saving water, one litre at a time

A start-up co-founded by two Australian National University engineering graduates in their own backyards took home the G'Day USA Emerging Innovator Award for their grey water treatment system.

ANU graduates Andrew Hermann and Tom Wood collaborated with grey water veteran Craig Richmond and US-based water entrepreneur Ralph Petroff to found Nexus eWater. In 2015 they launched their innovative water system in the drought-prone US west coast.

"This is an exciting time to be in the water industry," says Tom Wood, CEO of Nexus eWater. "With California in its fifth year of drought and water ordinances and prices on the rise there is significant opportunity to make on-site water recycling the norm for new homes in California."

Nexus eWater's grey water treatment appliance, the NEXtreater, can treat up to 200 gallons (about 757 litres) of grey water a day with minimal homeowner attention or maintenance. Grey water, which is the soapy water from showers, laundry, and hand sinks, makes up approximately two-thirds of a home's indoor water use. The NEXtreater uses no chemicals or biologics and is the first system of its kind to meet all requirements of the California State Plumbing Code for reuse for outdoor irrigation and even indoors for toilet flushing.

The technology, which has been featured in National Geographic, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and CNBC, has an average install price of $10,000-$15,000 per home. Nexus eWater was recently acknowledged at the White House Water Summit for its partnership with River Islands, a planned community located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

More information can be found online at

Professor Daniel Shaddock

The G'Day USA Award for Innovation was presented to Daniel Shaddock, Professor of Quantum Physics at the Australian National University and Former Director's Fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Professor Shaddock has had a long career in innovation. Before joining the Australian National University as a Professor in Physics, he was a Director's Fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked on the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna mission.

He led Australia's involvement in the GRACE Follow-on mission to map the Earth's gravity and was part of the team that detected gravitational waves with the Advanced LIGO project.

Professor Shaddock is also the founder and CEO of the start-up Liquid Instruments which makes high-end test and measurement instruments.


Last Updated: 26 August 2016
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