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Developing wastewater system for the future


In stiff competition, Jets Vacuum AS, together with Minoko Design, has received funds from Design and Architecture Norway - DOGA to further develop the sustainable wastewater system of the future.

Published on 2023-11-03

This pioneering project could change the future of wastewater systems by focusing on separating blackwater from greywater to optimise resource use and reduce environmental impact.

'The insight-driven work in itself can revolutionize how we think and design wastewater systems in Norway in the future. This is a sustainable project in its entirety, both environmentally and economically, for the benefit of both the company and society as a whole,' states the jury's comments. .

Jets Vacuum and Miniko Design will collaborate to map out and visualize potential solutions through a system map. This map will reveal the water and sewage structures and contribute to a deeper understanding of how we can build more sustainable sewage systems.

The goal of the Jets Vacuum AS and Minoko Design project is to:
  • Map insights from different parts of the cycle and make the technology, challenges, and existing solutions visible.
  • Visualize systems and solution spaces that can be used to contribute to actual solutions and products.
  • Create a basis for authorities and politicians who will contribute to change

Separate sewers

By keeping blackwater (toilet waste) and greywater (shower, sinks, and dishwasher waste) separate, Jets Vacuum can contribute to more efficient water treatment and reuse. The greywater, which constitutes the largest volume part of household wastewater, can be cleaned and used for non-potable purposes such as toilet flushing and irrigation, while blackwater is treated separately to extract nutrients and biogas.

This source-separating wastewater system has many advantages, including simpler water purification, reduction in pipe dimensions and energy use, higher energy concentration in blackwater which can be utilized for energy production, and decreased risk of pollution to natural water sources.

Societal impact

With DOGA’s innovation support of 550,000 Norwegian Kroner (NOK), the significance of the project is recognized not only as a business opportunity but also as a contribution to the larger community. Design methodology and user studies are fundamental to ensure that the developed solutions meet real needs.

Minister of Industry, Jan Christian Vestre (Labour Party), emphasizes the importance of design-driven innovation, especially in the transition to a sustainable Norwegian business sector. The Jets Vacuum project aligns with the government's ambitions for a low-emission society by 2050.

A new era for wastewater treatment

The initiative from Jets Vacuum has the potential to revolutionize wastewater treatment, which can lead to significant economic and environmental benefits. The project represents a model for the future and could serve as an example for other nations looking to achieve similar sustainability goals.

By seeing the value in what was once considered waste, Jets Vacuum is leading the way for an industry ready for change, setting a new standard for how we handle our most fundamental needs. With this approach, wastewater can no longer be seen as a problem but as a valuable resource waiting to be utilized.

Already delivering source-separating sewage solutions

While Jets Vacuum is at the forefront of developing a new and more sustainable sewage system, the company has already proven its innovation capacity through existing source-separation solutions for the domestic and cottage market. These systems, designed to meet the unique challenges in areas without centralized sewage, offer an environmentally friendly and efficient management of wastewater.

By further developing this solution and collaborating with even more professions and various users, we will gain important insights into how we can solve the future sewage handling system in a sustainable way.

About the project:

Today, wastewater in cities is collected and pumped over long distances through large pipelines/tunnels underground. This requires massive investments, and there is a high risk of local pollution. Separating greywater (shower, sink, dishwasher...) from blackwater (toilet) into their separate piping systems, so-called source separation, can offer many benefits, for example:

  • Simplified purification and reuse of greywater for toilet flushing, car washing, irrigation, etc.
  • Reduced load on sewage treatment plants and energy savings.
  • Significantly smaller pipe dimensions.
  • High energy concentration in the blackwater. Recovery of nutrients and production of biogas.
  • Fewer emissions or leaks to rivers, lakes, and oceans.