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Finnish Company that Cleans Drainpipes with Microbes Promisest Savings to Building Co-Operatives – The Broadest Pilot So Far Is in Operation (Tekniikka & Talous 5.7.2017)

Tekniikka & Talous magazine 5.7.2017 Miina Rautiainen

The drainpipe innovation by the Finnish company ProtectPipe is being tested in a real estate in Espoo, Finland. The microbe solution developed by ProtectPipe dissolves organic waste in the pipeline with the help of natural bacteria. Tekniikka & Talous wrote about the technology in March.

“When we did the mapping work in the beginning, we noticed that even the newest building suffers from extensive accumulations of fat. We ended up installing a total of six automatic drainpipe treatment systems to the real estate entity. The expectation is that, with the help of the pilots, we can show that the drainpipes have become completely clean”, says Klas Alfthan, co-founder of ProtectPipe, in a press release.

When the amount of organic waste in the pipeline decreases, also the amount of hydrogen sulfide, which corrodes drainpipes, decreases, since organic waste that decomposes creates hydrogen sulfide. ProtectPipe promises that its method can extend the lifespan of drainpipes with as much as 20 to 40 years.

According to the calculations of the company, if the lifespan of the drainpipe were to be extended with 20 years, the amount of maintenance backlog in the period of 60 years would decrease to 12 566 euros a year. According to the calculation, the savings in the pilot project in question would be 6000 euros a year and over 370 000 euros in 60 years.

“The amount of remunerated square meters in the building is 1508 sq. meters. If one assumes that the cost for a piping renovation (of the amount of maintenance backlog) in the metropolitan area would be the usual 500 euros / sq. meter, the corresponding amount for a piping renovation loan would be around 754 000 euros. When piping renovation is done to a new house in 40 years on an average, the hypothetical amount of maintenance backlog is around 18 850 euros when split to an annual level.”

The company has calculated that the investment brings profit also to the housing co-operative and its shareholders:

“When the housing co-operative invests 2 euros a square meter to a preventive drainpipe treatment, the cost for this investment is 3,016 euros per year, and this added to the annual maintenance backlog is around 15,583 euros in total. In the next 60 years, with annual savings, the housing co-operative gets an annual profit of 3,267 to its investment of 3,016 euros. The money that the housing co-operative collects from its residents in the shape of the maintenance charge yields in this case over 108% per year.”

The deputy landlord of the pilot building is eager to hear the results of the pilot.

“Once successful, the pilot project can have definitive effects on the business of property maintenance, as well as for the economic prospects of housing co-operatives and of residents”, says the technical deputy landlord of the company that manages the pilot project building, Vili Teutari, in a press release.

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