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A small scale problem with damaging effects

August 9, 2011

Swedish local environmental authorities report that waste water emissions from small scale facilities in summer houses are becoming an increasing problem. With people using their second homes more like permanent residence and not merely for a few weeks a year, treatment installations cannot cope with the increased load, which leads to untreated sewage leaking out in the surrounding nature or directly into the sea, contributing to eutrophication. According to the Swedish EPA, as many as 400.000 summer houses have inadequate treatment plants and 60-70% of those that have been inspected are in need of some sort of measure or replacement. According to Swedish law, summer house owners are required to upgrade facilities that do not provide sufficient treatment levels and pick up the cost themselves. This requirement can often turn out to be very expensive for house owners.

For the Sea of Inventions database we have found 785 inventions that to relate to small scale treatment facilities. With 400.000 plants to be replaced and house owners complaining over high prices, driven entrepreneurs might spot an opportunity here. For anyone who would like to learn all there is to know about ways to build a small scale waste water treatment plant, get in touch with anyone who knows how to, find out technologies that are, or aren’t, patented, find out which countries are the most active, or which companies, will definitely be helped by Sea of Inventions.

Until the Sea of Inventions database is online later this month we want to share some statistics from the small scale waste water treatment section.

Patent applications per year

 Inactive 80s, then increasing. (Please note that the figure for 2010 is likely to be higher due to the 18 month gap between the filing and publication of a patent application.)

Applications per country

German dominance in this sector with the US in second place.

Most frequent applicants

The applicant statistics and some additional googling give us the websites of the top five most active inventors:
This is a quick example of the information that can be found in the Sea of Inventions database. More detailed studies of the data will reveal more sofisticated information but to be able to find the five most active inventors in th efield in a couple of minute surely is a good start. Then it is up to them to prove that their technology has what it takes to satisfy picky and price aware customers…

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