NANAIMO – Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. has pioneered and developed the environmental solution to cistern and reservoir cleaning.
Partners Geoffrey Montgomery-Swan and Sabina Montgomery-Swan created the company to solve the problem using an environmentally safe and chemical-free cleaning process, without needing to discharge all the water up front. They actually retain about 90 percent of the water in the cistern, once the cleaning is completed.
“Our unique cistern cleaning process also eliminated the confined space liability issues which were present with the then current methods that were used,” says Geoffrey, adding their workers don’t have to go into the cisterns to do the cleaning.
The Montgomery-Swans have documented every cleaning since starting the company in 2013 on Gabriola Island, which demonstrates how much water has been saved and remains in the aquifer. They initially started after being annoyed that a cistern cleaning company they hired dumped all the water out of the cistern, then put a cistern cleaner into the cistern, with bleach to clean it. Following cleaning they proceeded to empty the bleach-filled sludge into the garden – then informed the Montgomery-Swan’s they would need to buy another load of water to fill the cistern again.
“Our whole mission was to actually save water,” he recalls. “Thousands of gallons of water were being wasted with the then current method of cistern cleaning and Gabriola Island is 100 per cent dependent on cisterns.”
The Environmental Cistern cleaning process ensures there are no chemicals put in the cistern, and no danger for workers, because no-one enters into the cistern to do the cleaning.
“We are proud of our achievements in saving more than 57 million liters of water to date,” he notes. “It is the equivalent of 115 million, half-liter water bottles. If laid end-to-end, it would stretch almost 25,000 kilometers, which is just about 60 per cent around the world.”
Besides cistern cleaning, the company offers reservoir sediment removal and disinfection services.
Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. is an approved supplier to CBRE clients, is Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS) certified, and has been growing 20 per cent annually since their inception. Besides residences throughout Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands in BC, their clients include water delivery companies, the Co-Op, RCMP, Parks Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre, Ucluelet First Nation and the Port Alberni Port Authority among others.
Their cleaning of the main reservoir for the Town of Lake Cowichan has been revolutionary, as Geoffrey explains that “there are no potential glitches for the fire department, because the water is still in the system while we’re cleaning, so they have uninterrupted fire protection services.
“It appears the good news has traveled well, with calls being received from around the world from people wanting to know how we do what we do,” Geoffrey states.
By Mark MacDonald