In the realm of agriculture, water scarcity and pollution pose significant challenges, particularly when it comes to irrigation & process water. Traditional sanitation methods, such as pit latrines, septic tanks, and soakaways, have long been used to manage waste water. However, their impact on groundwater and river water quality is a cause for concern. Untreated black water from these systems can lead to nitrate, E. coli, and coliform bacteria pollution, ultimately affecting the very water sources used for irrigation. In this context, Phoenix Water’s KYBO system emerges as a transformative solution that addresses the need for responsible sanitation across the continent.
Since its inception in 1969, The Phoenix Group has been at the forefront of fibreglass manufacturing, specializing in custom water containment and treatment products.
Driven by the vision of owner and innovator; Barry Vorster, Phoenix Water embarked on a mission to redefine septic systems and waste water handling. Barry saw the need for a comprehensive sewerless sanitation system that could treat both black and grey water, without relying on utility power, chemicals or complex maintenance. Collaborating closely with organisations like the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the team spent over eight years researching, developing, and perfecting the revolutionary KYBO system.
Groundwater and River Water Pollution: The Consequences of Traditional Sanitation
Pit latrines, septic tanks, and soakaways are widely used, especially in areas lacking access to centralised sewer systems. While they serve a vital function in disposing of waste water, their shortcomings have far-reaching implications for water quality. As these systems age they are often subject to applications of harsh chemistry to control odour & blockages. These chemicals lock up the biological process that assist in degrading waste and ultimately seeps excess nutrient, residual chemicals and pathogenic bacteria into the soil and ground water. Water testing may highlight elevated coliform bacteria and nitrate.
Moreover, when not properly maintained or treated, the black water from these traditional systems can find its way into nearby rivers and streams, compromising the quality of the water used for irrigation. High nitrate levels from untreated waste water pose health risks to both humans and animals, while the presence of E. coli and coliform bacteria can ultimately be found on irrigated crops raising severe food safety liability issues.
KYBO: A sustainable Solution for responsible Sanitation
Recognising the gravity of these issues, Phoenix Water’s KYBO system has emerged as a game-changer in the field of water treatment and sanitation. The KYBO system offers a holistic approach to waste water treatment, providing complete, on-site purification of black and grey water without resorting to harmful chemicals. By adopting biological treatment methods, the KYBO ensures that the treated water is of the highest quality and poses no threat to groundwater or nearby water bodies.
Additionally, the KYBO’s dynamic rotational bioreactor (DRBR) design removes the need for regular desludging whilst maintaining odour free operation. The system operates on a small, efficient air pump, often powered by solar energy, not only minimising operational costs but also ensuring ease of operation in remote areas.
KYBO’s versatility makes it an invaluable asset for agricultural communities, estates, and staff villages that lack access to centralised sewerage. KYBO treated water can be returned to toilets as flush water effectively “closing the loop” on dignified sanitation. By promoting responsible sanitation, KYBO empowers communities to protect their water resources, making a positive impact on human health and the agricultural environment.
Phoenix Water’s Comprehensive Portfolio
While the KYBO takes centre stage as the flagship product, Phoenix Water’s innovative portfolio goes beyond sanitation, providing comprehensive water containment, treatment, and storage solutions for customers in ranging from agriculture to mining and hospitality. A wide range of high quality fibreglass filters, strainers, screens, chemical tanks, water tanks and septic systems provide value across various agricultural applications.
Phoenix Water’s products are designed for economical logistics across Africa with the KYBO and underground tanks products available in a split nesting style. The septic tank designs can stack over 12 units in a truck bed allowing for reduced logistical costs and quick on-site assembly.
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