Frequently Asked Questions

We know that new technology is raising many questions in your minds. Here are the
questions we got asked the most frequently.


The minimum wave height for the system to start operating is 1 m (3.2 ft). Production gradually increases until it reaches full capacity with waves about 1.5 m (5 ft) high. Other characteristics such as wave period also affect production.

We use strainers with fine mesh and backwashing is part of each pumping cycle so there is no danger to fish, eggs or plants.

By desalting only 25% of the water entering the system, the salt from the desalinated water mixes into the 75% of the water that is not desalinated. Thus, the brine is released responsibly into the sea with only 30% higher salinity than ocean seawater. For more details regarding the brine management of our system, please refer to the benefits of Oneka’s solution.

Usually, buoys are not visible from the coast since they are typically 0.5 to 1.5 km (0.3 to 0.9 mi) offshore.

The waves are relatively predictable depending on the season. Before starting any project, an analysis is carried out in order to validate that the waves are sufficient throughout the year and that the solution operates most of the time. The proper water storage is selected following this analysis to ensure continuity of supply.

If the produced water is higher than the client’s needs, the water can be diverted back into the ocean.

The buoy is mainly made of recycled plastic and metal. The structure is made of steel and doesn’t need rare minerals. The pipeline is made of high density polyethylene (HDPE).

The lifespan is 15 to 20 years for economic purposes. Preventive maintenance is carried out throughout the contract to ensure that the equipment remains in good condition.


Oneka’s system removes germs and viruses. A residual disinfectant (such as chlorine) may be added if the water is to be stored, distributed or used as drinking water.

Numerous sensors give you access to real-time data on water quality. The water produced by Okena is continuously monitored to ensure it meets local water standards.

Compared to well water, there is less variability in water properties of desalinated water. Desalinated water can be more controlled. Well water availability can vary greatly from place to place and has a risk of depletion.

We offer optional post-treatment, which can be customized based on usage. 

  • For drinking water, chlorine and minerals can be added depending on the materials of the water pipes or the desired water taste.
  • For irrigation, it is less standardized. However, we can adjust the water so that it favors the cultivation of certain fruits and vegetables.

The cost of post-treatment is only a small fraction of the total cost.


There are radar reflectors and light beacons for visibility at night on our systems. We avoid being located in the routes of large ships by working with local navigation authorities. Usually, we have some flexibility in deciding where to install the array. 

All sensitive parts are protected. It takes special tools to access them. It is possible to add surveillance cameras on the buoys. Remote monitoring immediately alerts any unusual events on the units.


Oneka accumulated experience in permitting in numerous states in the US, in Canada and in Chile. We will be working alongside the client for the permitting process.

Oneka’s system is modular. It is possible to add units according to use and increasing needs.

The basic system can pump water up to a height of 40-50 m (131-164 ft) at4-5 bars (44-73 psi). Solutions can be implemented if pumping to a higher elevation is required.

The piping is underground, either trenched or installed with horizontal drilling.


Oneka and its local partners are responsible for  system maintenance. Part of our social mission is to create job opportunities for locals. Oneka trains and works with local engineers and technicians to operate the system.

Maintenance is dependent on water quality and weather conditions. Preventive maintenance is done two to six times a year while general maintenance is carried out about once a year.


Typically, a contract lasts 15 years. It can vary between 10 to 20 years depending on the project.

It is dependent on different project parameters and should be addressed on a case by case basis.

  • Authorizations / permits for work undertaken on your property.
  • Modifications or addition of infrastructure on your land to accept water from buoys (pipes, canals and tanks on your property).

Urgent Matters

The other buoys will not be affected since the array constitutes a parallel circuit and the redundancy is a strength of the system.

An alert system has been linked to our real-time data dashboard. The team is alerted the instant that the system detects abnormal behavior.

Storm Management

For now, we are gradually increasing the system resistance and testing it in various storm conditions. Past a certain limit, the buoy is automatically deactivated and enters into safety mode. This means that it remains moored, but with ample slack and elasticity. If the system is triggered as such, after the storm, the devices can be reactivated in under an hour.

We offer solutions adapted to various applications using our innovative technology.