An Irish company is investing millions to develop a device that collects rainwater and allows homeowners to get around future water charges.
Rainsafe Water, which is owned by Ozone Industries, has raised almost €1.5m in funding from investors including the family which distributes Mira showers in Ireland. The company has now raised just over €3m since it was founded in 2010.
The firm has developed technology that allows households to source all domestic water requirements, including drinking water, from a single system rather than having to use the council's supplies.
About the size of a fridge, the Rainsafe system draws harvested rainwater from a storage tank, where it is then purified using ultraviolet light and ozone gas. It is then distributed throughout the house.
The system can be installed in new homes and retrofitted to existing properties at a cost of between €2,800 and €3,300.
The company reckons it costs just €135 to provide enough water for five people.
The single biggest investor in Ozone Industries has been Modern Plant, the successful engineering company that distributes shower ranges such as Mira and Monsoon in Ireland.
It has invested a total of €900,000 in Ozone. In the latest funding round it ponied up €250,000.
Brigid Bolger, a retired director of Modern Plant and widow of founder Henry Bolger, left an estate valued at €59m when she died in 2011, according to recently released probate records.
Energy entrepreneur Louis Fitzgerald invested €75,000 personally in the latest funding for Ozone, while the Fitzgerald Family Partnership invested €25,000.
Mr Fitzgerald was one of the original investors in energy firm Airtricity, which was founded by Eddie O'Connor.
Enterprise Ireland has also invested in the latest round for Ozone, coming up with €200,000 to bring its total investment to €450,000.
Dublin businessman Paul O'Grady invested €500,000 in the latest fundraising, his first time taking a punt on the firm.
Mr O'Grady is involved in mobile technology firm Trust5, a cloud-based billing analytics service.
Another significant investor is Denis O'Sullivan, a colleague of Louis Fitzgerald.
He has invested over €100,000 in the latest round.
Contacted by the Irish Independent, director Joe Barrett declined to comment on the company's plans at present.