A Balmain garden thrives in drought using a Nubian Oasis GT 600 Greywater Treatment System
Balmain home owners Robert Tiller, Susan and Felix are celebrating the benefits of their Nubian Oasis GT600 Greywater Treatment System with a garden that has thrived despite acute water restrictions in the area. Internationally renowned, award-winning , environmental industrial designer, Robert Tiller, whose team at Tiller + Tiller worked on the technological design and product form for the Oasis, wanted to use a greywater system for his new home to avoid the penalties of council water restrictions. He knew greywater recycling would guarantee water every day.
The Nubian OASIS Domestic Greywater Treatment System (GT600) has proved to more than satisfy his garden’s water requirements with a significant reduction in his water bill.
“I am very excited by the productivity of the system, which generates a saving of almost 400 litres of drinking water a day,” said Tiller. “The water is used for the garden and for toilet flushing. All our clothing is washed in Oasis treated grey water. During summer passers-by were absolutely astonished at how well my garden looked and at the amount of water I had available to me. My plants have thrived and the garden looks fantastic. The softening impact of the garden has certainly given my property a definite edge.” Gardens typically contribute eight per cent or more to the value of property.” Mr Tiller’s home has a front and back garden with side vegetable patch.
“It is very reassuring to know that our dedicated efforts to establish a garden won’t be jeopardised by water restrictions next summer. Although my property is an older building, I was able to quite easily install the Oasis plumbing as there was underfloor clearance. This allowed access to existing plumbing under the house, which allowed me to configure the plumbing to pump water to the toilets and laundry. I also installed a water switch which allows for mains water backup when required.”
The technology comes in an attractive modular design and sits next to the house. It sits above ground so there is no requirement for excavation to install it, like other systems. In addition it has a natural biological treatment and there are no harmful chemicals used for disinfection.
The water from baths, showers, laundry and hand basins is treated by the Oasis to a high quality that is suitable not only for garden irrigation, but toilet flushing, clothes washing and car washing.
According to Nubian Water Systems CEO John Huggart, “The Oasis GT600 represents a welcome boost for home owners coping with acute water restrictions for their gardens. Our system provides a regular, reliable source of high-quality recycled water for garden use while typically reducing demand on precious town drinking water by 40 per cent. This use of recycled water also substantially reduces load on municipal waste systems, which represents yet another important community cost-saving.”
John Huggart said the sleek, compact, above-ground design of the Oasis GT600 is idea for urban housing. “It looks very smart and can be up and running within 24 hours of delivery.
“An important ecological benefit of the Oasis GT600 is that the treated greywater is discharged at PH 7.0, a neutral level which doesn’t affect soil fertility. The treatment process is chemical free so no chlorine or other chemicals, which contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer, are added to the environment. The recycled water is disinfected to make it safe for human contact and for irrigation of fruit and vegetable gardens,” he said.
An additional benefit of the system is that it decreases the harmful effects of high levels of phosphorus to 3 mg/L, which means at this concentration it acts as a natural fertiliser and is of great benefit to the garden.
Nubian has estimated that if the 20.2 million people in Australia treated their greywater and recycled it, there would be a saving of over 700,000 mega litres of drinking water, enough to supply the total annual drinking demands of Sydney and Melbourne. In addition, by using a chemical-free process, there would be an annual reduction in chlorine of 3500 tonnes.
Commenting on the Oasis, John Huggart adds: “The market has received the Oasis GT600 launch with great enthusiasm and Nubian has literally been flooded with enquiries and orders.” New housing developers and renovators in particular are finding it to be the ideal greywater recycling technology.
Oasis treats the greywater in a three steps process. The water is first screened to remove lint, hair and other particles, it then passes through media where contaminants are removed through absorption, biological process and filtration, and it is finally disinfected. The system has a collection water tank, a processor and a treated water tank where the recycled water is stored prior to reuse.
Frequently Asked Questions, Answered by CEO John Huggart
Who or what is the Nubian Water Systems?
“Nubian Water Systems was formed in 2005 by investors who recognised the need and urgency to practically address the increasing shortage of drinking water. Their vision is to provide reliable, sustainable and affordable on-site systems. It is an Australian company and there is an international patent pending for the OASIS GT600.”
What sets it apart from all the other greywater systems out there? Is the technology Australian? Can we get a rough idea of cost?
“There is no need for excavation like other systems as it sits above ground and it does not use harmful chemicals to the environment in the treatment process. The cost of the treatment system is $7,590 and installation will vary depending on the site. This is roughly comparable to other systems. “
What has been the take-up rate since launching and have the water shortages proved a boon for business?
“The interest and take up rate is building rapidly since the launch in December. The water shortages and threats of increasing restriction have stimulated interest by consumers seeking to have a sustainable source of water for gardening.”
Is the Oasis treated water safe to drink?
“The system is not designed to produce drinking water; it simply saves the use of precious drinking water from being used on gardens, car washing, toilet flushing and laundry.
“The company has undertaken a comprehensive and demanding test process supervised by SAI Global to achieve the stringent standards required for the NSW Department of Health accreditation of greywater treatment systems.”
How soon after purchasing the Oasis Greywater Treatment System would a client expect to break even?
“Our clients don’t just purchase our Oasis system to save on their water bills. They see it in the same terms as perhaps the purchase of a home theatre. It adds value to their property, enjoyment and lifestyle choices by guaranteeing the supply of treated water that can be used for gardens.
“With a permanent water supply from recycling, they can be guaranteed water for garden use, whatever the water restrictions. This is a form of asset protection, maintaining and increasing the investment in their house, while adding to the pleasure they have in living in the house. Attractive gardens ensure a higher property price should they wish to sell. (Gardens are said to add up to 10 per cent to property prices.)
“Developers use the Oasis as a selling point for new housing as it guarantees the prospect of a green lawn to the prospective buyer. Any person who installs an Oasis is taking a very socially responsible initiative. They save precious drinking water and reduce the amount of waste that runs into the community sewage system.”
The Nubian Oasis GT600 is accredited for use in New South Wales, Queensland, ACT and Victoria and has over 40 accredited installation agents — see www.nubian.com.au for list.