Aqua-4D People: Markus Schwery – Animals & Buildings
At the HQ in Switzerland, we caught up with Markus Schwery, recently appointed as Head of Technical Support for Animals and Buildings, to find out more about this role and this area of Aqua-4D.
Q: How long have you been at Aqua-4D and what first brought you here?
MS: My previous role was actually Manager at an insurance company, where I was in charge of buildings damages, among other things. I met (Co-Founder) Walter Thut ten years ago, then came to Planet Horizons Technologies for technical sales, back when it was working mainly with buildings and livestock. I started like a non-swimmer in cold water, but through my own research I learned a lot in the early years about the science behind electromagnetism.
Q: You’ve recently been appointed as Head of Technical Support for Animals and Buildings; what does this role involve?
MS: Most people at the company are now focussed on irrigation, but in 10 years of experience in the areas of livestock and buildings I feel I’ve played a big part in the development of the system, particularly regarding limescale – one of the big issues with regards to livestock/buildings.
From my own experience, I also proposed some technical alterations to improve the efficiency of the Aqua-4D system. This small alteration ended up making a big difference.
Q: What difference did these changes make?
MS: It subtly made the interaction of the EM field more effective. We did 50 different tests and found we had much more effective results, such as in stables where they wanted to remove corrosion and limescale. This was an optimization of the system, in harmony with Nicolas and Charly (CTO). They then made a new Treatment Unit prototype and it proved to give better results all round.
I also had an idea to improve the alarm on the system, a beeper, rather than just an LED light – this reduced system downtime. For example, in a big barn or farm, the system is often installed in a hidden-away place; now with a beeper, the farmer can immediately be informed of any downtime.
I find it so interesting to keep optimizing the system in this way. It’s easier to do this on-site at clients as we can see it working in practice. Customers were also interested in running these optimization tests – it was a complimentary service, and also a way of strengthening the customer relationship. We had some really good results, which helped open new markets.
Pic: Surveying an industry publication with the results of happy customers
Q: Most people probably know Aqua-4D these days for its work with irrigation systems; could you explain a little about these other areas you’re in charge of, Animals and Buildings?
MS: The difference is that in these industries there is a big focus on fighting corrosion, limescale, and biofilm which goes into the drinking pipes. But at the same time we have another problem in that these buildings are often very large, and have a variety of different EM signals interfering, as well as heating systems.
The buildings which have the Aqua-4D system are usually large houses or apartment blocks with up to 100 flats, with the Aqua-4D installed to remove limescale and corrosion. Our system is both curative and preventative, meaning we can clean old pipes in an older building, but also protect new piping systems in new buildings.
As for Animals, we have most experience in chicken farms and pig farms. We also have some new experience with horse stables, and shrimp farming.
Shrimp farming, in Switzerland?
Yes, we’ve had incredible results there, helping reduce mortality to under 5%. This was due to a combination of problems – their flow rate was too high (now we go with 50% the flow rate of before). We also cleaned the piping systems of their biofilm and various harmful bacteria. We changed something in their biological filter, created denitrification. He was reusing the same water for 4 years. In Switzerland it’s very expensive to re-create salt water; if you change hundreds of cubic meters per year this can be very expensive.
We installed one year ago and the water is now much higher quality; before, it was nearly dead. The shrimp farmer was featured on an SRF program this year where he explains his hugely improved water quality (Swiss TV, link here, feature 5 minutes in)
Q: So what do you think is the most important impact the system can have on animals/livestock agriculture?
MS: Definitely biofilm, but also pipe clogging due to magnesium and calcium. For example, near Berlin in Spreenhagen we are working with one of the biggest players worldwide, Cobb / Wimex. There we had two chicken houses with exactly the same animals and conditions, and we found that in the second one, with our system, we saw 5% more hatching eggs. With such huge numbers, 5% makes a big difference. For example, if there are 11,000 more eggs, and each hatching egg costs €2.8, that’s a big benefit for the customer. They were very happy; we ran another test with them in Leipzig a year ago, then they had fantastic results there too so we installed another system. Cobb produce 3 million eggs per day on average for world production, so 5% more is a significant boost.
Another crucial thing for animals is that our system is totally free from any chemicals. This is then healthier for the animals. For example, Lithuanian studies showed that with our system there were many less infections and less instances of diarrhea. On poultry farms this is one of the biggest problems. If we treat with Aqua-4D, a huge advantage is that endotoxins are not created. If you treat and kill e-coli with chemicals or acids, you may kill bacteria but end up creating endotoxins which are simply then food for other bacteria. But with Aqua-4D we don’t kill bacteria directly so we don’t create endotoxins. Usually such improvements are visible in just 3-4 weeks.
Q: What are users/distributors of the system in Germany, Austria and Switzerland saying about Aqua-4D?
MS: We have a lot of positive feedback. There are so many variables and so many things need to be measured, for example all the things around the animal houses – – a high voltage line above, a train line, other frequencies around the piping system, so each case needs to be specifically measured, as a lot of ‘dirty power’ can have an effect. So I always have to make measurements to see what factors are affecting the efficacy of our system and hence the production. Sometimes small tweaks can make a huge differences.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?
MS: There are a lot of things I like. Firstly, contact with all different people and finding out solutions with partners or plumbers or electricians or other specialists. And then, I am always happy when we have good results. I often get calls and emails with good feedback, after putting in a lot of work. I am happy to say I have nearly 100% satisfied customers even after 10 years.
Q: What’s ahead for you in 2019?
MS: We will look at horse markets, for sure. We can make a big contribution to animal health in this lucrative market. We will also keep working hand-in-hand with current clients to ensure their continued good results.
Markus Schwery, thank you!