An invention inspired by a Coolum man’s frustration with his three teenage daughters’ long, leisurely showers won last week’s New Inventors judges’ award on ABC TV.
Trevor Murphy wanted to teach his daughters that water was a precious and finite resource and show them how much they were using, and wasting.
After long discussions with cousin and fishing mate Ken Harrison, the idea for the Aqualim water limiter was born.
Since then Trevor and Ken have been joined by marketing expert Steve Brassington and engineer Dave Hayes to develop the prototype.
Last Wednesday night at 8pm, four years of hard work, belief, dedication and teamwork went on show when Trevor and Ken revealed the Aqualim to the New Inventors’ national television audience.
Trevor admitted to having a few butterflies in his stomach.
“I went through waves where I’d get really nervous and then I’d get over it, then I’d get really nervous again and I’d get over it,” he said. “Just little things would set it off.”
Ken said he was more concerned about making a mistake rather than whether they would win.
“We were just thinking ‘I’ve just got to get what I’ve got to say right’, and minding our p’s and q’s,” he said.
“It wasn’t about going on there and winning something; we just wanted to get the product out there for people to be able to see.
“And winning is a bonus.”
Trevor said the moment when the judges unanimously voted for the Aqualim was “unreal”.
“I’ve been dreaming of that for the last three-and-a-half to four years,” he said.
“It was just unbelievable – just a buzz.”
Now the challenge is to find a manufacturing and distribution partner for the product.
“Obviously it costs a lot of money to get to here and you start to run out of that,” Trevor said.
“You need someone to come on to help you get through the manufacturing stage to get it to market so that people can start to use the product.”
Trevor said he would be grateful for any feedback on the product and urged people to visit the Aqualim website (www.aqualim.com.au) and have their say.
Oh, and the daughters and those long showers?
Trevor said the girls had gone from using three or four cycles of the Aqualim down to one or two.
The Aqualim water limiter works on volume of water rather than time.
It is self-powered, using the pressure of the water itself to turn the limiter
When almost all of the preset volume of water has been used, the flow rate is temporarily reduced as a warning.
When all of the preset volume of water has been used, the flow reduces to a dribble, at which point the shower can be turned off or instantly reset to start a new cycle.
The Aqualim is expected to sell for around $80. The company estimates it will save the average household about $100 a year.
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