‘We will use our privilege to help those less fortunate.’
It’s a credo that inspires Comox Valley entrepreneur Kevin Haughton to initiate social change through clean water.
The founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions has developed a sustainable, clean drinking water system powered by renewable energy.
One of his goals is to help end long-term drinking water advisories. By working with community leaders and government, Haughton also hopes to implement the technology in First Nation communities across Canada.
“We can provide access to safe, clean water where it’s lacking in third world countries,” Haughton said. “Strangely enough, we have that situation right here in our backyard in Canada, which is surprising and disappointing.”
Worth $300,000, the mobile system is designed to sit inside a 10-foot shipping container. It uses natural filters to remove bacteria, metals and chemicals. It can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy, which is enough for 500-2,000 people, depending on the location.
Haughton sees the technology as a way to bridge the gap in outlying areas of developing countries. He has “callouses on his eyes” from what he’s seen in remote areas, where people will crawl over dirt to access wasted, dirty water.
“You can see the physical differences in people. Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of death in children, because of contaminants in water.”
Haughton does not have a scientific background. He credits his parents for teaching him how to learn. To really understand something, his father told him to draw it out. Over time, he taught himself chemistry, engineering and other subjects.
“I became my own technologist out of necessity.”
Haughton has two business partners, John Pulos and John Derby — Canadians living abroad who share his intention to help those less fortunate.
“I only want to align myself with those people that fundamentally share that intention, which is we’re going to help people.”
He and his team have deployed a system in China. Another is waiting to be restarted in Panama when it’s safe to travel to the remote Indigenous community.
For more information about the company, visit clearflo.ca