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Global Initiative

Engineers Revolution in Clean Drinking Water in the Developing World

January 16, 2015

In the developed world, we often take for granted that we have ample amounts of clean drinking water. Our sewer system and portable restroom provides, such as On Site, take our wastewater and send them to water treatment plants to be purified into safe, potable water. Because we are fortunate enough to have these services that allow us to live in clean and safe conditions, we don’t even think about how our lives would be without them. In most of the developing world, however, clean drinking water is a luxury that most people don’t have access to.

In these countries, most sewage is collected and then dumped into lakes and streams that then contaminate the drinking water of the people who live in the region and can cause illness. Thankfully Bill Gates has partnered with engineer Janicki Bioenergy to create a solution in which the waste in the water can be used as fuel to purify the water, making it clean to drink. This revolutionary water purification system is called the Omni Processor.

I know you may be thinking that this water may not be as safe to drink, but it is really no different from the bottled water that you can buy at any grocery store here in America. This purification happens because the water is boiled and the water vapor exits as steam. At these high temperatures the harmful pathogens can no longer survive and it can be filtered into fresh, clean water. The left over waste is used to fuel the heating mechanism that produces this water vapor, so it creates its own electricity for the process.

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