Pilot Phase Begins

Here we are. Pilot Phase.

The frigid cold is difficult to ignore as we step out onto the Art Janse Pumping Station. We’re just an hour north of Toronto in an agricultural town called Bradford West Gwillimbury.  Here, with the support of the Ministry of Ontario, Conservation and Parks, the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury and the Township of King, the Holland Mash will serve as a laboratory for the next 90 days of testing. We can hardly wait…except for this snow of course.


On the banks of the Lake Simcoe watershed, you see the competitors setting up their equipment with the utmost caution and care. Tunnel vision has spread throughout the 9 pods, and the spirit of competition is palpable as we get ready for the launch of Pilot Phase. The teams are here to win, and that sentiment is clear. But each brings a unique approach to extracting algae-causing-phosphorous from freshwater bodies, and each have proven themselves through the first two stages of the Barley Prize.  These are some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and the competition is now real, the competition is on.


On site are the following 9 teams:

1. Green Water Solution, Inc. 2. ECONSE Water Purification Systems, Inc. 3. RePleNish4. Global Phosphate Solutions 5. University of Idaho, Nexom Clean Water Machine Team 6. University of Waterloo 7. U.S. Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center 8. Wetsus NaFRAd ULTRA 9. ZeroPhos


Throughout the 90-day Pilot Phase, these 9 teams will endure the harshest weather conditions, proving the adaptability and operational capabilities of their technologies in the most temperate climates. The technologies ability to function in freezing temperatures is a significant stepping stone in bringing it to market, thus a critical component of moving forward to Grand Challenge.  

Just a few more days before the water turns on and Stage 3 of the Barley Prize officially kicks off. Stay tuned as we follow the competitors journey and, hopefully, witness some historical scientific breakthroughs.

Until then, stay hydrated!

The University of Waterloo brought graduate students on to serve as techs and gain on-field experience throughout the 90 days of testing.