Made-in-Canada filter could be solution to septic pollution
Thousands of lakes, rivers and wells in North America, as well as the millions of people who use them, could ultimately benefit from a new septic tank filter system designed and manufactured in Canada. The Effluent Filter system is manufactured by...
Thousands of lakes, rivers and wells in North America, as well as the millions of people who use them, could ultimately benefit from a new septic tank filter system designed and manufactured in Canada. The Effluent Filter system is manufactured by injection molder Formax Plastic Inc. in Alexandria, ON. Formax president Garnet Perry says the filter is the culmination of 14 years of design and development work.
The Effluent Filter consists of a box-like module, which comes in various sizes, packed with corrugated PE pipe. A typical 12 in. x 12 in. x 24 in. module creates over 40,000 sq. in. of extra surface area. The module can be combined in series to scale up treatment efficiency. The module is installed at the septic tank outlet before the effluent or discharge water reaches the septic bed. A small blower attached to the module saturates the water with air. The air, along with the enhanced surface area provided by the piping in the module, activates the bacteria or “bugs” to break down the organic matter in the water, resulting in a cleaner discharge.
Perry says the entire module, with the exception of the extruded pipe, is injection molded from polyethylene. The pipe is supplied by an Ontario-based extruder. Formax worked over the years to streamline the manufacturing process.
“It used to take as long as eight hours to make one module, as much of it was welded. We redesigned the components to snap fit. It now takes only about 20 minutes to mold and assemble a complete filter module.”
Formax is the licensed manufacturer of the filter, which is patent pending. Perry says various provincial and federal levels of government have assisted with the development and promotion of the filter.
“In one community, the septic systems of 96 of 97 homes failed to meet provincial water quality standards,” says Perry.
Formax operates 12 injection molding machines ranging from 60- to 350-tons in size. It has seen a steady decline of its custom molding business in the last two decades and is hoping to grow and recover business on the strength of new products, such as the water filter. Perry says he is planning to market the filter globally. The company recently received an order for 41 units from an operation in Chile.