NSW company utilises government grant to go global

Sydney-based water filtration device manufacturer, Star Water Solutions, has made the most of a government grant to expand to overseas markets.

The $97,247 Building Partnerships funding enabled Star Water Solutions to expand to Asia and North America.

In addition, the company will take on 10 more full-time employees and two part time employees as it grows the business.

“We are rolling out our technology in China, the United States, Canada, Singapore and Australia and the NSW Government has supported us all the way through,” said CEO of Star Water Solutions, Christopher Rochfort.

The filters that Star Water Solutions manufacturers are made from renewable and recycled materials such as compost, wood, and crushed glass sand, while recycled plastics are utilised for the ancillary drainage and storage systems that Star Water Solutions provides.

“We are diverting about 24,000 tonnes of organic waste from Sydney landfills each year to make our filter materials but expect that to double in the next two years as we ramp up activities,” said Rochfort.

Combining these materials creates a unique product, emblematic of current trends.

“It’s a bit like high tech potting mix created from a combination of materials and soil science together with computer analytics and engineering,” said Rochfort.

Not only does the product benefit the hydro and ecosystems downstream, the filter reduces water run off at the site where it is installed.

“Farmers can also halve their water use because our systems act like a sponge to hold soil moisture for plants saving water and thousands of dollars per hectare on energy bills as they don’t need to pump as much water,” said Rochfort.

The company’s overseas growth has led it to markets in China, specifically in Shanghai where the company’s products are used to treat the water of the Yangtze River as it passes through the Shanghai Botanic Gardens. With a greater focus on the quality of the water in China’s rivers after Chinese President, Xi Jinping’s, “Sponge Cities” directive, the water filters are being rolled out in Shenzhen and Chengdu in addition to Shanghai.

In the United States, the filters are installed in Lake Michigan and will be implemented in Lake Mead and Lake Tahoe.

Locally, Star Water’s filters are used in Rose Bay, Manly, Concord, and Canada Bay, with plans to be installed in Blacktown, Penrith, and Newcastle.

“Our filter systems are also helping about 120 farmers and hobby farmers along the Hawkesbury-Nepean to stop farm nutrients washing as runoff into the river, helping reduce the incidence of blue green algae,” said Rochfort.