A highly innovative Moray business has won two national environmental awards. Biomatrix Water, based at Horizon Scotland in Forres, has won the Rushlight Water Innovation Award 2010 and the Rushlight Water Treatment Award 2010.
Biomatrix was judged by the expert panel to have made the most significant contribution through technology, innovation or process to improve the treatment of wastewater.
United Nations studies have estimated that the wastewater from over one billion people worldwide is discharged without treatment, mainly directly into urban canals and waterways. This creates unpleasant and often unsanitary living conditions for a sixth of the world's population.
Biomatrix Water designs ecological treatment systems that can effectively tackle the pollution in these waterways. A recent success story is the Paco Canal headwaters in Manila, Philippines. The headwaters used to be a foul swamp of sewage and rubbish. The people who lived along the canal avoided walking along the banks and instead chose to walk on the dangerous railroad tracks nearby. Now the Paco headwaters is a beautiful water park, full of flowers and trees. The locals enjoy walking along the new boardwalk by the canal and children come to play and relax.
Now in their fourth year, the RSA-accredited Rushlight Awards are a celebration and promotion of new technology, innovation and best practice across the whole environment spectrum for organisations throughout UK and Ireland. The group and overall winners will be eligible to be considered to represent the UK in the European Business Awards for the Environment 2012.
The Biomatrix Water team are excited to have won the Rushlight awards. Managing partner Galen Fulford said: "We are passionate about water restoration. When a canal or river is healthy and clean it is a real asset to the community. With my job I get to travel all over the world and all too often I see waterways that are clogged with trash and bubbling methane from sewage inflows. These waterways are health risks and people avoid them because of the smell and appearance. It brings me a lot of joy to be able to work with communities to transform the waterways into vibrant ecosystems full of flowers, wetland plants, fish and birds."
Mandy Holmes of HIE, said, "Biomatrix Water was formed in 2008 and to win these awards in such a short time really is an outstanding achievement. HIE is working closely with Biomatrix to support their research and development as well as future growth ambitions. The focus on energy efficient and low carbon technology is a key priority for both HIE and Biomatrix, and the Rushlight Awards are recognition of the calibre of the Biomatrix design. "