Belfast firm launches new toilet cleaning product to tackle global climate and water crisis

Created by Mark Gilligan, Wizso is a small eco-friendly tablet released from a dispenser into the toilet to leave it clean without flushing

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 6:00 am

A Belfast entrenpreneur has developed a new environmental product aimed at helping to tackle the global water crisis.

Created by Mark Gilligan, Wizso has been designed to reduce fresh water usage and the carbon footprint of users.

The product is simple. A small eco-friendly tablet is released from a dispenser into the user’s toilet bowl before or after taking a pee. It reacts on impact with the water delivering a fresh smell while changing the colour, leaving it recognisably clean.

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Directors Mark Gilligan and Arthur O’Brien developed Wizso to help tackle the global water crisis

The product was developed with the assistance of the School of Chemistry at Queens University, Belfast following the award of an Innovation Voucher from Invest NI.

The tablet is designed to leave the toilet clean and ready for use by the next person without flushing, saving approximately 7.5 liters of fresh water and three grams of carbon from being emitted with every flush avoided.

In the UK, water production and treatment costs about 2.2p per flush on average. A single Wizso tablet retails at 1p, meaning a return of more than 100% for the paying consumer. In Great Britain, where domestic water charges apply, the average family will save around £120 per year from their water bill.

Wizso, developed in Northern Ireland, is also an environmentally neutral product made of non-toxic ingredients so it is harmless if ingested.

It does not treat the water as that would duplicate what happens down-stream, it simply enables the user to change their behaviour around water usage, thereby saving water.

Mark Gilligan is a chartered engineer with over 30 years’ experience gained in the waste, environmental consultancy and start-up industries. Alongside his co-director, Arthur O’Brien, he founded the Wizso company in 2020.

Mark explained: “Nowadays, we all know that fresh water is precious and that there are lots of things we shouldn’t flush down the toilet with money being one of them. Wizso helps on both fronts, you and your family can reduce your water footprint while saving money.

“The water supplied to our homes and places of work is all very high quality and it doesn’t just arrive by magic! It has to be sourced, stored, filtered and then treated and dosed before maybe being pumped and ready for use. Each stage needs energy and the use of various chemicals to provide fresh and clean water. After use, this water then flows into the wastewater treatment system where it is again treated before being discharged into a river or the sea - again requiring energy and more chemicals.

“But what do we do with this amazing resource? It varies around the world, but you can be sure that between 40% and 50% of the water you use at home is used in the bathroom and over half of this amount will be used in flushing the toilet. By targeting this water there are huge savings to be made in terms of carbon emissions and chemicals used as well as the environmental benefits of leaving the water in situ, reducing the pressure on our water sources. Each flush uses around 7.5 litres of water, the average person pees at least 7 times a day – that’s potentially over 50 litres of perfect drinking water every day.”

Product trials are already agreed with a number of industry leading organisations including a hotel chain, UK water companies and universities for early 2022. For places of work, schools and at home, Wizso enables customers, colleagues and family members to do their bit for the environment while saving water and money.

Mark added: “To date, reducing water usage has depended on either appeals to the public by water providers or gadgets that reduce waterflow. The step change needed will only come about by enabling behavioural change. There is a significant opportunity in providing a simple, environmentally safe product that enables people to save water on a daily basis while at the same time saving money, reducing their carbon emissions and helping the environment.”

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