A Donegal man has invented a pioneering water harvesting system that promises to revolutionise the way we use water in the future. Des Glackin, who is an active member of Ren Net, the Renewable Energy Business Network, used his 30 years experience in construction to research, develop and produce WIAC, a prototype suitable for a world market. Malin Head native Des has managed to intercept rain water before it falls to the ground and conserve it as clean pure water with a prototype at his home, which, when tested by the HSE, has been deemed ‘fit for human consumption’. Check out www.wiac.ie for more information.

Commenting on the system, inventor Des Glackin said: “Having seen at first hand the problems which occur due to lack of accessible water or a poor quality water supply, I set about researching how we could use the abundance of water that falls from the sky in this country. With the system I developed, a large volume of water can be successfully retained in elevated storage. The water can be filtered to a high standard due to the distance of the collection channel from the storage vessels. There is no need for costly pumps due to the gravity pressure obtained from the system, as a result of the storage vessel’s elevated location. After a number of months, the stored water was tested with excellent results, proving the water remains oxygenated without the aid of paddles or pumps, but rather by the usage and collection method of the WIAC system”.

Adding to this, Dr. Kevin McGinley, Dublin said: “There is an obvious alternative to contaminated water, costly treatment plants, water restrictions and water rates. That is harvested rain water. It is a measure that has some history as it was quite common in the past to collect rain water from roof buildings in rural areas for a variety of uses other than drinking it. Water can now be diverted from gutters into tanks fitted under the eaves on most houses, then filtered and piped inside. Pie in the sky? No, I already have such a system fitted to a small roof in Malin Head, Donegal, which was designed and fitted by a local man. He has had the prototype of the product at his own home tested by the HSE, who, in its minimalist language, deemed it ‘fit for human consumption’.

The system is installed with no chemicals, no contaminants, no planning permission and no excavation required. It works in all domestic, commercial and agricultural circumstances, with potential benefits for a wide range of people, from farmers to laundrette owners, hoteliers and housewives. Individuals already using the system for personal use commented that it was like “water from heaven” due to the harvested water’s pure state and lack of ground pollutants.

The Department of Agriculture Food and Marine has recently added WIAC to the list of acceptable systems for grant aid, which is available to farmers (up to a maximum grant of €10,000). And with the potential to eliminate water rates, the WIAC system is generating a lot on interest, nationally and internationally.

WIAC has been shortlisted for the Sustainable Ireland Awards 2014  finals to be held on the 3rd September in Belfast. http://www.sustainableireland.co.uk/?page_id=28