JUSTGoodNEWS.biz by Jeannie Oliver

When local water and sewer rates are rising at a rate of two and a half times that of electricity on the average, an innovation that both cleans more effectively and cuts water usage by 80 percent is good news to the restaurant industry.

That is the result of a new product called RinseWell, invented by Chris Gilreath of Recycled Hydro Solutions (RHS) of Bella Vista.

RinseWell is a device made to replace traditional dipper wells used to clean utensils in ice cream shops and restaurants. A typical dipper well has a spigot that maintains a constant flow of fresh water into the well while soiled water drains out of the well.

According to Gilreath, one dipper well will use 200,000 gallons of water a year. Although water rates vary across the nation and are often set by complex computations, including base rates and sewage costs, Gilreath used lush Northwest Arkansas’ relatively low rate of $.006 per gallon as an example. He calculated that a regional ice cream chain using 1,668 dipper wells spends about $2 million a year for water. In that example, the RinseWell would save about $1.6 million and would conserve about 267 million gallons of treated water.

The cherry on top: The product has been proven to be more effective at eliminating pathogens and allergens from ice cream scoops. In an efficacy study conducted by the University of Arkansas (UA), the RinseWell eliminated 99.64 percent of e.Coli during a 5-second wash cycle. A dipper well with a perpetual flow spigot eliminated just 8 percent of e.Coli in the test conducted by Kristen Gibson, a UA food science researcher.

Gilreath said the technology is relatively simple. When a utensil is dropped into the RinseWell, it is blasted with a high velocity spray of water. At the same time, a UV-C sanitizing light is triggered.

Two national restaurant-equipment manufacturers have contacted Gilreath about the device. He hopes the device will be ready for market in six to eight months.

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