The former managing director of a professional services business has turned inventor with a tablet to cut back on the amount of fresh water used to flush the toilet.
Mark Gilligan is a chartered engineer who has worked in the waste management industries, including for nearly 11 years as a managing director at Golder Associates. During his career he has delivered significant capital projects in the waste industry.
He has now developed Wizso, with a personal mission statement of "changing behaviours around fresh-water usage”.
It’s a small tablet made from non-toxic ingredients that leaves the toilet bowl clean of urine, reacting on impact with the water when dropped in and masking the colour and odour.
And Northumbrian Water, one of Great Britain’s biggest utility providers, is now trying out the Wizso to confirm its ability to reduce household water usage.
Wizso is a small tablet made from non-toxic ingredients that leaves the toilet bowl clean after a wee, reacting on impact with the water when dropped in, masking the colour and odour.
In the first phase of Northumbrian Water’s trial, 40 staff and their families monitored their water usage over four weeks, followed by four weeks of using Wizso, to measure the savings both in water used and money saved.
Mr Gilligan, who has a BEng in civil engineering and MSc in project management from Ulster University and set up the company in 2020,, said: “The trial process is an important milestone in the development of Wizso.
“It will allow us to get real world data and to enhance our understanding of Wizso as a product and of the behaviours and mindset of the population when it comes to flushing habits.
“To date, the reduction of water usage has depended largely on both appeals to the public from water providers or gadgets that reduce waterflow and it has largely fallen on deaf ears.
“However with the rising cost of living, reducing household expenditure is at the forefront of minds and the cost-saving element of this innovative solution is of significant interest – that it also helps save the planet too by saving 7.5 litres of fresh water with every avoided flush is a bonus.”
In Great Britain, where domestic water charges are paid, water production and treatment costs about 2.2p per flush on average.
But a single Wizso tablet retails at 1p – which a spokesperson for Wizso said brought a return of more than 100% for households. And that could convert into an important saving as households tighten their belts during the cost-of-living crisis.
The company said: “Wizso is an environmentally neutral product and 100% harmless to people and pets.
“It saves on average 7.5 litres of fresh water and 4-5 grams of carbon from being emitted with every flush avoided so also has a significant environmental impact in addressing the global water crisis.”
Tim Wagstaff, water efficiency manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “We are always on the look out for smart and innovative ways to save water and help reduce pressure on supply.
“Wizso is a great example of a forward-thinking product that has the potential to make a big difference to consumers’ behaviour, their pockets and a lasting impact to the environment.”