Could Afton City Hall be going green? Yes, if Afton residents Clint and Bobbi Elston have their say.
The Elstons, who own the Equaris Corporation, made a presentation to Afton City Council during its Feb. 15 meeting.
The Elstons proposed to install their Equaris water-recycling technology in City Hall.
The couple has retrofitted their own house into a self -contained wastewater system and self-sufficient water system. They patented the system, which Clint began working on more than 30 years ago.
In a nutshell, the couple's Equaris system allows them to reuse all of their water, which is collected rainwater, and run it through purification processes.
The Elstons also compost all of their food and human waste, which is decomposed into carbon dioxide and fertilizer.
The home includes two specially designed toilets equipped with computers and a vacuum that use a fraction of the water.
Clint said installation of the Equaris system, which costs between $9,000 and $13,000 per home or office, would bring a 40 percent savings on water to residential homes, and an 80 to 90 percent savings for commercial buildings.
Additionally Clint said the Equaris technology reduces wasted water by at least 80 percent
"We feel we have an extraordinary opportunity to show what can be done for the environment," Bobbi said. "We have to start protecting Mother Earth."
The Elstons' proposal to the city is to install the composter, the toilets and water purification system at City Hall, free of cost. If the city is not pleased with the system, the Elstons would buy it back.
However, the city would have to enter into a monthly monitoring and maintenance contract, at $40 per month, with the Equaris Corporation.
How to classify
Currently the Elstons are working with several state agencies to identify how to classify the Equaris technology and how to regulate and permit it sine currently there is nothing.
"We fall through the cracks through all of this," Bobbi said.
City Engineer Diane Hankee raised questions over the Elstons' proposal since subsurface sewage treatments systems, such as theirs, are not permitted in public buildings. However, the Elstons said they fall outside the rules.
City Council members decided to table the proposal until the council was able to review the proposal and the city attorney can review the proposal as well.
The proposal will be taken up again at the March meeting.
"What Afton can do is be a pillar to the state of Minnesota," Clint said.