by Gary Magwood
• Environmentalist, inventor, thinker, visionary, and part-time hustler, Roger Walsh has dabbled in various forms of green technology for over 40 years.
Small-scale solar and wind power electrical generation, high efficient lighting ballasts, multi-fuel wood stoves and furnaces, and his own water pumping systems, are only a few of his designs and successes. In 1976, a solar log home built in Scarborough, Ontario, was nominated for an architectural design award. And as expected, there were setbacks. For instance, the design prototype for his cyclonic wind turbine, a cone-shaped air sock that could generate electricity in even the lightest of breezes, “disappeared” while being evaluated by a community college in Ontario.
Among his interests and passions, one topic kept reappearing: a no-freeze water pipe and hose system that would ensure uninterrupted water service even when the temperature dropped below zero – without electricity.
In the early nineties, Walsh formed Frost Free Water Systems Inc., and the company began to manufacture and install his patented, high-efficiency, closed loop, hybrid air-powered water pumps. The pumps and related technologies could operate on12-volt DC power, solar energy or straight from the grid.
Now, after almost 40 years, his forays have included organic gardening, a free-range beef farm and the manufacture and installation of his patented Enviroficient multi-fuel stove and boiler furnace. However, his Clear-Flow Water Hose has become the sole focus of his attention – his passion flowing back to the subject of moving water.
The Clear-Flow Water Hose flows in temperatures as cold as -10°C, without windchill. In addition to being ultra light, durable, flexible (to-40°C) and kink resistant with crush-proof nylon fittings, the hose actually self drains when ends are open.
In addition to the movement of water, electricity charges Walsh’s inventive juices. A few years ago, he established Less Energy Inc., another of his numerous enterprises. He was searching for a way to develop more energy efficient electronic ballasts for high efficiency fluorescent and metal (MH) lighting systems. Then along came newer lighting technology that eliminated the need for much of what Walsh had been developing. The world of electricity and electronics moves at an insane pace. Without massive resources, inventors and visionaries find it more difficult to keep up. But water still flows downstream and freezes in winter temperatures.
With 25+ patents to his name, many of which are for environmentally friendly initiatives, Walsh continues to roll around ideas – some of them radical – about green, sustainable and energy efficient ways to reduce our collective carbon footprint.
“We all have to contribute to the betterment of humanity, but we need to do it without consuming more energy,” he says in his typically enthusiastic style of conversation. And then riffing on JFK’s famous quote, Walsh adds, “Do not ask what more can I take from and do to our planet, but what can I do to help preserve and repair planet Earth, our only home (so far) that sustains us and life?” Words are very powerful and Walsh’s sentiments reflect much of what is being done by many of us concerned about Earth’s ability to sustain an ever-increasing population and our ever-increasing degradation of the environment.
The original, Canadian-invented Clear-Flow Hose is made to exacting standards, both in Canada and the US. Walsh has never compromised on the quality of his inventions and products. His Clear-Flow hose is made of the highest quality, NSF-selected, non-polluting, recyclable materials. The hose is easy to store and made to last with a 10-year warranty. Unlike PVC and rubber hoses, Clear-Flow hoses don’t support the growth of bacteria or produce toxic odours. It’s drinking water safe, and due to its self-draining behaviour, stays cool without the need to flush sun-heated water, thereby saving water.
Clear-Flow hoses are manufactured in two sizes: 5/8” for day-to-day garden applications and the contractor version is produced in a 3/4” diameter. In Canada, the 5/8” and 3/4” hoses are sold at Home Hardware Stores. In the US, the 5/8” garden hose is available from Amazon.com; a 3/4” version will be available soon.
I’m sure that Walsh’s restless, creative mind seldom takes a break, always looking beyond today for green, sustainable and environmental ideas and products appropriate for society’s future needs. As Walsh likes to emphasize, awareness of what we personally, and as a civilization, are doing to our environment is paramount to us caring for it.
Gary Magwood is a committed environmentalist and social activist who lives in the tiny community of Latta Mills in Ontario. He serves as a citizen member of Belleville’s Green Task Force and is an active member in both Canadian and Ontario Green Parties. Contact Roger Walsh and learn more at www.ClearFlowHose.com