Wearside firm looks to give clean water to the world


A fabrication business is helping tackle the global water crisis after securing a deal to manufacture patented water filtration systems that will serve some of the world’s most impoverished areas.

DLAW Contractors, which is based at Port of Sunderland, has secured a contract to manufacture containerised, transportable water treatment solutions and is already in the process of delivering units to a gold mine and desalination plant in Namibia, a community project in Rwanda and a farm in Scotland.

Headed up by Sunderland-born Dale Barry and Lee Ashman, DLAW has helped develop the filtration systems – which can process between 2,000 and 300,000 litres of water per day – in partnership with Pure Water International Ltd and Clean Water Wave.

The filtration systems are manufactured into shipping containers and powered by solar or direct power, meaning they can operate on or off-grid, anywhere in the world, providing a sustainable solution to the global clean water crisis which currently affects over half of the world’s population (over 4.2 billion people).

Dale Barry, managing director at DLAW, explains: “The Pure Water filtration system is a world-first and after years of intense research and development, we’re incredibly proud to finally be in a position to bring it to market and to produce it right here in Sunderland.

“Not only will it provide a self-sufficient way for hard to reach communities to access clean drinking water, but it will also provide a safe and secure way to treat dangerous process water which initiate diseases and pollutants the world-over.

“Currently, around 80% of the world’s wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused, and our low-energy filtration systems can help turn such waste into clean, processed water that can then be reintroduced into the environment in as friendly a way as possible.

“For example, one of the first companies to get on-board with the initiative was a gold mine in Namibia which will use our filtration systems to cleanse chemicalised process water containing arsenic safely, allowing the client to dispose of the process water in a more safe and efficient manner and also giving the client options for disposal. The impact these systems will have on human health is exponential.”

As well as processing bore hole and stagnant water in to fresh drinking water, the system can also be engineered to process polluted industrial waste water as well as final effluent. Providing a clean water solution for all sectors of the water industry. The filtration systems will also help dramatically reduce carbon emissions by eliminating the millions of toxins that are generated by the production of bottled water each day.

“One of our filtration systems can provide clean drinking water for up to 1,200 people, making the process 30,000 times cleaner than the production of bottled water when you factor in production, shipping and sourcing,” he added. “Not only will they help save lives, but they’ll also help save the planet.”

DLAW was set up by Dale and three former colleagues last year, initially with the goal of producing containerised geothermal heating and cooling solutions for the agricultural sector, however after diversifying into the production of water filtration systems and container conversions, the company has since grown to a team of 10 and has plans to increase its headcount further over the coming months.

He adds: “We’re hoping to take on our first pipe fitting and welding apprentice in the coming months and are also expecting to create more jobs in the first quarter of next year, providing the pandemic eases and lockdown measures are eased in our key markets.

“We’ve also fielded numerous enquiries through our work with the Department for International Trade (DIT) and our channel partners in Sub-Africa and are confident that, once our first batch are in operation, the systems will make a real difference to the lives of millions.”

Matthew Hunt, director of Port of Sunderland, said: “We’ve invested heavily in making the port an attractive place for businesses to locate and grow over recent years and DLAW is exactly the type of company we’ve worked hard to attract.

“Not only is the company creating high skilled jobs for local people but it is also creating innovative, eco-friendly solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues and we’re proud to have been able to support them on their journey.”

Get in touch with our team at Port of Sunderland

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