A startup founded to bring clean drinking water to remote communities has been acquired by Thermofluidics.

Francesca O’Hanlon set up social enterprise Blue Tap after working for the charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for two years in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, where she coordinated the water supply for emergency hospitals in conflict settings.

O’Hanlon, who now has a PhD from the University of Cambridge in Water Security in the Global South, has been working on the development of water treatment solutions since 2018.

Blue Tap, also built up by CTO Tom Stakes and COO Rebecca Donaldson, recently saw its solar-powered electro-chlorinator prototype arrive at the offices of its partner FundiFix in Kenya. The direct contact chlorinator treats water directly as it comes out of the ground.

By passing a carefully-controlled electric current through the water as it flows, it treats groundwater without adding any chlorine chemicals or salt, relying instead on ions naturally present in the source water. 

Childhood friends raise £710k to build credit reference startup

This approach combines onsite chlorine production and accurate chlorine dosing into a fully-automated process, with no dependence on consumable materials and minimal operating costs – and removing human error from the chlorine-dosing process.

Thermofluidics – founded in 2006 – has a portfolio of technologies and water-pumping solutions to address challenges in the agricultural, community water access and building services sectors.

“We are very happy to announce that Blue Tap will be joining the Thermofluidics family,” the startup announced. 

“Thermofluidics has a wealth of experience in providing innovative energy and clean water services across Africa and is acquiring Blue Tap to expand its mission to provide clean water in remote locations that are affordable, reliable, and sustainable.

“It has been an incredible journey for the Blue Tap founding team across Cambridge, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya and we would like to thank all our supporters and funders over the years.”

Thermofluidics CEO Mark Bryant and CTO Thomas Smith are now listed as CEO and CTO of Blue Tap on LinkedIn.

Beech Tree invests in sustainable energy specialist



are you a developer?

  • Proven International Track Record
  • Vertically Integrated Federal Funds
  • Vertically Integrated Tax Credits
  • Vertically Integrated Investors
  • Vertically Integrated Lenders
  • Vertically Integrated Contractors