Hydrosmart – Paul Pearce is the Managing Director of Hydrosmart, an Adelaide Company that manufactures its unique resonance frequency approach to solving almost all types of water problems, both here and overseas. Over many years their systems have been used by farmers, councils, mining companies, remote station holders etc. who need quick, simple solutions to their salinity, scale, iron, gypsum, algae and odour issues or to improve water quality and clarity. By supplying the one and the same technology Hydrosmart have been quietly delivering a wide range of benefits in a large variety of consumer markets.
From unblocking sheep station pipe runs of over 20 kilometres out to numerous descaled water troughs through to improving vineyard yields in the Barossa or removing gypsum and calcium scale build up from kilometres of 250mm poly pipes for Crocodile Gold in the Northern Territory.
Hydrosmart initially faced the problem of having to prove that their new approach actually worked, when starting off 14 years ago. These days, however, the company treats an impressive ever growing list of major clients looking for the genuinely sustainable cleantech credentials it carries.
Pearce explains “These days the question we get most asked by prospective clients is not ’does it work?’, it’s now a case of a council, hospital or mining company callisng and asking us will it work for my specific problem?”
“When we first started out, it seemed unlikely that anyone could solve a wide range of water related issues with just the one product this just sounded too good to be true.” Given the old adage “if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is”, people were originally wary of such promises.
“This made it hard going in the early days when we were pioneering the concept of using just frequencies to treat water without need of big machinery, filters or membranes. We encountered a healthy degree of scepticism and so in the begining we provided a rental or money back option to overcome customer suspicion that they were being hoodwinked.
“We even offered a ‘free trial’ approach back then which worked very well for us” Pearce says. “Many people started trying and using systems on farms and vineyards around South Australia. What we found that they mostly wanted to solve when using bores was invariably problems with salinity, calcium or iron scale and water hardness in the majority of cases”.
“As these issues are all caused by bonded minerals and compounds present in water and by applying Hydrosmart’s resonance frequencies, we actively targeted the bonds, altering the otherwise predictable outcomes.
“Clients would go from being tentative at first use, to becoming impressed as drippers, pipes and sprays visibly unblocked and plants perked up within months of applying the approach and in a wide number of cases, salt stress was seen to disappear from the crop or vineyard being treated.
“We would invariably find they did not plan to give the technology back, in fact there were impressive gains using saline water in Hydroponic production or vineyard problems that had been resolved with unblocking and removal of build up of the irrigation channels, lines or drippers, Pearce said.
Wine producers such as d’Arenbergs, Pikes, Haans, Geoff Hardy’s, Grant Burges and Corriole wines all use Hydrosmart units to resolve irrigation issues as does Rockhampton Council, Mt Barker Strawberries and the Dubai Polo Fields in the UAE.
Hydrosmart’s systems are now being used by many golf courses such as Bunbury WA, Manly NSW, Cromer NSW and also Adelaide Oval in SA, Spirit of Tasmania, BHP, Rio Tinto and over 30 Australian Councils have all applied systems for management of their water problems.
By removal and prevention of calcium, gypsum scale or oxidised iron build up, Hydrosmart prevents both short and longterm problems, from occuring in pipes and on all surfaces that come into full time contact. The big bonus in irrigation is that these minerals are now made bio available and plants can select them out from the water for increased plant growth and lower fertiliser and chemical usage and costs.
There is growing awareness that older, conventional water treatment technologies such as reverse osmosis or water softeners actually cause downstream environmental problems. These approaches often require chemicals to run, have high power and water consumption and often produce large amounts of wastewater in order to get a usable product that is devoid of all minerals.
Hydrosmart makes a genuinely sustainable water technology and sales keep increasing which is not too surprising given that the computerised technology is simple to install and has the lowest power consumption of any water technology around. At only five watts power draw enables it to produce the resonance frequencies needed and it requires no chemicals or consumables to produce 100% usable water without any waste stream or by- products.
“ABC’s Landline and Stateline ran national and state TV stories on Hydrosmart’s successes and we use TV advertisements around rural Australia to let people know they can solve issues simply” Pearce says. “We then provide direct consultancy over the phone and via internet with most of our clients when they respond.”
It is a long term electronic ‘plug and play‘ approach to water treatment and the most important part is where the client installs it. We help them establish this via photos and phone conversation in most cases. Many users who range from domestic right through to mining, tend to organise their units in this way, we then ship them off and they self install their units to achieve their desired outcomes.”
“I love my job even after all these years it’s still exciting coming to work each day” says Paul. “The fundamental thing HYDROSMART does is to break or weaken the bonds of minerals and compounds in the treated flow path making many improved outcomes when treating water. Hydrosmart keeps learning new things about the promising capacities for sustainable change brought about when breaking bonds in water and wastewater. www.hydrosmart.com.au – 1300 138223
We were associated with a heap leach mining operation where crushed heaps are irrigated with a cyanide solution to leach silver into solution. The process recycles bore water in the silver leaching circuit and the constant consumption and application of antiscaling chemicals was something we were aiming to either reduce or eliminate from the process if at all possible.
Based on the information provided, and results showing up during application at other mines and industries, Hydrosmart technology was considered for use in treating the process water to be used for the irrigation of the heaps. The aim was to reduce or stop calcium gypsum build up from forming in the pipes and sprinkler heads during the recovery process.
A bench trial was conducted in late 2009 on the use of a Hydrosmart by applying the unit to a leach slurry. This was found to produce no conflicts in the process, based on which it was decided to proceed to a full site trial in early 2011 at a Queensland mine site. The level of scale build-up in the system was directly monitored by a scale coupon (probe) installed in the 250 mm HDPE leach solution supply pipe. From this we were able to observe and monitor the level of scale build up and it was soon evident that the scale propensity had improved due to treatment.
No solid scale formed on the coupon, whereas usual behaviour was that without the addition of antiscalent chemicals, significant scaling would form and be visual within a matter of days. This beneficial behaviour continued, and whilst the nearly 2,000 ppm TDS water being pumped was now milky in colour, there was no longer the build up and blockage issues we had been experiencing otherwise.
As a result the Hydrosmart Minemaster units have been retained on site and are in constant operation.
I am pleased with the outcomes of the Minemaster in sustainably solving the problem.
Red Earth Group – Mineral Processing Services