Proven, Patented Technology
Floating Island International (FII) first developed BioHaven® floating island technology to clean up water in 2005. Since then, they have launched over 8,000 islands worldwide. They work with a network of licensees and distributors in the US and globally. Floating Island International and the BioHaven family of products have numerous patents behind its unique, groundbreaking technology.
The Science Behind WaterRR's Vision
BioHaven Floating Islands harness natural biological processes to clean water. The science of adapting designs from nature to solve modern problems is called biomimicry. After thoroughly investigating naturally-occurring floating islands, we modeled and designed BioHaven Floating Islands, then applied years of research to making them the engineered technology they are today.
WaterRR's mission is to make water quality projects affordable and achievable by creating economic and social benefits that help to offset costs and generate revenue. We incorporate collaborative technologies that synergize with BioHaven to bring complete and affordable solutions. These include hyperaccumulator plants that accelerate removal of contaminants and state-of-the-art nano-bubbler aeration powered by solar panels mounted on the island.
What is a Biohaven Floating Island?
BioHaven Floating Islands are a type of floating treatment wetland. They have pockets filled with soil to receive plants, which grow down through the island and form a large root-mass in the water below. The top of the island sits above the water line to provide an aerobic zone to promote plant growth and oxygen transfer. The BioHaven matrix and plant roots create a massive surface area for the formation of biofilm - most of us recognize this as "slime" - which is abundant in microscopic life that pulls nutrients out of the water. Biofilm feeds the food chain; the greater abundance and diversity a water body supports, the more nutrients are consumed by beneficial life and less is left over to feed algae.
BioHavens do not have to be planted to be effective. Research proves that the surface area of the BioHaven matrix alone generates effective amounts of biofilm. This is important when BioHavens are considered as platforms without plants.
BioHavens are an engineered product made of superior materials, approved for safety and fitness for use in the toughest conditions. Imagine a floating mat with the texture of a loofah. They are adjustably buoyant, yet resilient, able to sustain the growth of perennial plants and trees over many years. They can support small buildings, such as gazebos and greenhouses. Manufactured using recycled non-BPA PET, our "matrix" substrate is sourced from the highest quality plastics mandated by the EPA for use in drinking water bottles. It can stand up to harsh weather and other tough conditions indefinitely. The islands are coated with a deep layer of UV-impermeable ‘armor’ which toughens it against internal degradation and damage inflicted by wildlife. This extends the lifespan up to sixty years.
BioHaven Floating Islands can be retrofitted into any pond, lake or lagoon without disturbing the infrastructure. It is a perennial system so only a minimal amount of maintenance is required to check that all parts are working as expected.
Holistic Treatment Of Algae
BioHaven Floating Islands represent a holistic way to remove the problem-causing nutrients from a waterway and convert them into a beautiful and wildlife-enhancing floating island habitat. The process starts with the massive surface area provided by FII’s BioHaven matrix which “houses” more microbes, and more microbes equal cleaner and healthier water.
The microbes that form biofilm on BioHaven Floating Islands feed from the same nutrients that algae feed from. The more BioHavens doing duty as housing units for biofilm, the more microbes are present in the pond. The more food they eat, the more they will starve out algae.
In addition to supplying surface area for biofilm, the roots of the island plants extending downward keep usable oxygen in the water, carrying it to a depth of up to four feet, the zone where the majority of a pond’s life abounds.
As biofilm exudes a sticky polymeric substance (EPS), it becomes surrounded by periphyton that provides plant-like food for aquatic invertebrates and small fish. As each trophic level is consumed by the next, phosphorus is used up and - when eventually harvested - leaves the pond for good. So, biofilm is at the heart of the process by supporting many pathways for removal of nutrients.
A floating island also decreases the water temperature in its shade by almost three degrees Fahrenheit, which is significant for all life that is susceptible to extreme heat.
These biological processes will not eliminate algae altogether but will prevent them developing into a monoculture and choking the water body, depriving it of oxygen. Over time, the pond will develop a new balance and the problem of HABs, odor, and toxic water will be a thing of the past.
At Fish Fry Lake near Shepherd, Montana USA, Floating Treatment Wetlands were used to mitigate lake eutrophication. Enhanced circulation and nutrient uptake were used as simple, cost-effective water treatment strategies that transformed agricultural effluent into world-class fish habitat.
In Barrington, Illinois, the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission named the “BioHaven® FTWs Remove Algae & Create Wildlife Habitat” project the Best Management Practice (BMP) Project of the Year.
See summaries of all BioHaven Case Studies
Floating Island International
Founded in 2005 by Bruce Kania, Floating Island International (FII) developed and patented the BioHaven Floating Island and many offshoot embodiments, such as the Floating StreamBed. FII's business model is to license the manufacture and sales and marketing to trusted partner companies who proudly carry the BioHaven trademark. Since 2017, FII has entered into direct sales, to make sure BioHavens are available throughout the world.
WaterRR, Inc. is a subsidiary and a licensee of Floating Island International, Inc.. Formed in late 2018, WaterRR's mission is to champion the most promising and needed innovations from FII, in particular those associated with Resource Recovery and fixing large lakes. Until now, addressing problems in large bodies of water has been cost-prohibitive. WaterRR's revenue-generation model intends to change this.