by Duncan Peters August 09, 2021 4 min read


The world is changing and off grid living is becoming more popular. One of the challenges of off grid living is clean and reliable water with many homes reliant on private water supplies or bottled water. There are many solutions on the market but none that purifies consistently and sustainably from any source. 


Our mission

Novus' mission is to provide safe water to people, wherever they are, from any source.


The challenge 

When new regulations were introduced by the Drinking Water Inspectorate and Scottish Government in 2018, we immediately saw an opportunity to show what our technology could do for people in remote areas.

The new legislation required the 24,000 off-grid homes and businesses in Scotland which rely on Private Water Supplies (PWS), to purify their drinking water for residents, guests and customers.

The challenge for us was to independently validate our technology.

In August 2021, we completed a series of tests with the Water Test Network, in partnership with Scottish Water, at their Gorthleck facility in Inverness-shire. Our aim was to prove the high quality of water our technology produces from a variety of sources. 

Gorthleck, a village which sits on the north shore of Loch Mhor, was chosen specifically for its access to 'raw' water which is notoriously difficult to purify due to its high levels of organics. It was also the location chosen by a market leading point-of-use water purifier test where three of the top selling products available to consumers had failed their tests. 

We wanted to show what our Miniaturised Vapour Compression Distillation (MVCD™) technology could achieve where others had failed.


The Tests

Our ultimate goal was to demonstrate that we could produce drinking water from the worst water possible in the UK’s most remote areas.

Our first test assessed whether the MVCD™ device - without a prefilter – was capable of treating mains tap water to ASTM Type II Water standards (otherwise known as distilled water with a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) reading of 0-10ppm). 

Successful independent validation would allow us to carry out further testing with our medical target market.

The second test was to determine whether the same MVCD™ device, with the aid of a prefilter for suspended solid removal, was capable of consistently treating the raw water (Maximum abstraction of 103 m3/d) to a standard which conformed to The Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies)(Scotland) Regulations 2017. 

If so, that would allow CWD to market our product to homes with private water supplies in Scotland.

The tests were carried out by Novus engineers and samples taken by UKAS accredited Scottish Water technicians to ensure impartial and independent validation of the technology.


The Results

The data output from the Scottish Water Test Labs is extremely detailed with analysis across a wide range of determinants, covering output from the device as well as the sample of the input taken at the same time. The complete report can be made available upon request but in summary:

  • The device continued to produce consistent output over time, regardless of the raw water input and NO pre-filter.
  • Biological determinants were successfully removed, consistently and over time, from the raw input

The out-of-scope determinants were:

Aluminium - as expected

Zinc – a Scottish Water expert suggested this was possibly a result of brass fittings used within the technology demonstrator. Further lab testing is already underway to pinpoint specific fittings which may be the issue. We are already planning future design changes which will see bent to shape stainless steel piping utilised to remove this issue.

Turbidity - a type of cloudiness often used by water utilities simply as a headline indicator of the presence of a biological determinant, this requires further analysis. However, we know this is NOT the case with our device’s output since the separate biological tests demonstrate sterility. Possible causes may be either aluminium oxide (as above) or tiny bubbles of air in the output, as a result of the MVCD process.  

Further lab testing is already underway, including determining whether the output sample may simply de-gas if stored for 24 hours, ahead of the lab analysis.  



The results achieved are a strong vindication of our technology’s capabilities.

It is clear, with the design changes already planned in place, that we will have an in home point-of-use water purifier which can purify from the worst water in the UK at a continuous and consistent rate. 

Our new circular economy product will deliver major improvements in the quality of water available to people living and working in the Highlands and remote parts of Scotland and, in the longer term, in global markets, greatly reducing consumer reliance on bottled water.

In the near future, where homes are situated will not be governed by accessibility of pure water - the Novus MVCD™ will enable remote living whereveryou choose.

If you would like more information about our technology please get in touch at (email address).