Oxford company aims to take innovative water tech to wider population

Aqua21 tap

A water treatment company is seeking support to help it develop its water treatment solution, making it small enough to fit underneath every sink in healthcare environments. The device, once fitted, will mean taps can deliver ozonated water with the ability to kill bacteria and viruses on contact.

Oxford-based Aqua 21 Ltd has been using ozonation technology to provide clean drinking water with the ability to disinfect contaminated supplies for years. The science and technology is proven at an industrial scale and the company’s founder, Trevor Costello, is now actively seeking support to engineer a smaller version that could fit beneath every sink, converting a normal tap into one that can deliver biocidal* water with the power to kill COVID-19, MRSA and other harmful pathogens on contact.

With the current unprecedented health emergency, the company says that its technology could give hospital staff the ability to wash their hands and wards with biocidal water straight from a tap.

Trevor realised the opportunity for his technology to help, but the costs in developing the necessary small-scale gadget means he needs the help of engineers and water scientists, as well as funding and backers for the project.

Being stuck at home, unable to work at his office, Trevor realised there were probably many others in a similar situation who could lend their expertise while they were unable to attend to their normal duties.

He said: “I was at home, listening to the news reports and discussing with my colleagues at Imperial College London and knew there was a simple way we could help. With a possible second spike in COVID-19 cases expected in the Autumn, we have around six months to develop and commoditise this solution to be ready to help healthcare workers fight this threat.

“We’ve done it before. The UK introduced thermostatic mixing valves in the late 1980s to prevent scalds from boiling water out of taps and this is no different. Our solution could fit under a sink and supply biocidal water straight from the tap. We just need the support of the UK’s engineers and financial backing to make this a reality.”


* a chemical substance or microorganism intended to destroy, deter, render harmless, or exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism.