Solar Water Disinfection


Water Disinfection SODIS, is an Extremely Affordable Water Purification System Using Table Salt to Reduce Poor Water Quality in Water Containing Clay, and Eliminate Sickness for Those Drinking It

The issue of a plentiful water supply is as old as the origins of man. Water represents the cycle of life, and we are in a perpetual ongoing exercise worldwide to find it, cultivate its source, and maintain supplies for people on a permanent basis.

Although most of us are aware of the issue on a general level, we take for granted brushing our teeth without worrying, making coffee, having endless ice water from the fridge, and, yes — wasting lots of it. If you’ve ever been to another country where it’s an issue, things get very inconvenient real fast. I experienced this twice — while on a backpacking trip where we ran out of water and had to use purifying tablets to drink out of springs — and another time while visiting my dad who had decided to take up residence as an expat in Mexico just for fun. Each time when I got home, I felt the joy of being able to drink water out of the tap, shower, brush my teeth without using bottled water… oh, glorious freedom! And those were just mild inconveniences.

The problem with water in challenged countries (and states, even in the US) is simple: When we have a water source, the pathogens in the water have to be eliminated. Without water, people die. Without clean water, people are at great risk for getting sick and dying. And as Dr. Joshua M. Pearce of Michigan Technological University points out, previous methods for providing clean water are very expensive.

He is working to change that with a process called solar water disinfection (SODIS), which is an extremely affordable water purification system using table salt to reduce poor water quality in water containing clay, and eliminate sickness for those drinking it. In his study, ‘Optimizing the Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) Method by DecreasingTurbidity with NaCl,’ Dr. Pearce and researcher Brittney Dawney state that ‘solar water disinfection (SODIS) has proven to be effective at reducing diarrheal incidence in epidemiological intervention studies.’ In conjunction with this, they have created a realistic, portable device to test the safety of water.

The study investigates the use of common table salt (NaCl) to reduce the turbidity of water containing clay particles.

Imagine if your goal during the day — aside from eating — was simply to find something to drink that wouldn’t make you sick. That puts things in perspective, when your greatest dietary challenge today might be fitting in time to run through a drive-through and fix the problem by pulling out your debit card and giving an order.

According to, more than 3.4 million people die each year from water-, sanitation-, and hygiene-related causes. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in the developing world. In Africa, hundreds of millions of people lack a clean water supply.

And while many of us think of Californians as all tanned, beautiful, and cruising past tall palm trees in gleaming sports cars, this state has a terrible water shortage, as well as degraded water and bad air quality — all contributing to the issue of water supply in a state known for its beauty on every level. Some might say that citizens pay a price to live there, but with the new water testing product being developed by Dr. Pearce and his team from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan Tech, this problem may be meeting a solution.

Source: 3dprint

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