Bad sanitation could get all washed up

Sanitation issues in the third world, causing thousands of deaths every year, could have found their saving grace - in the form of plain kitchen salt.

A new technology launched in the UK this week at the IWWE and IRWM conference in Dublin can not only produce water that is pure and clean from any source - the resulting liquid can actually kill micro organisms.

The resulting water biocide solution could therefore protect drinkers from diseases such as anthrax and MRSA, which it kills completely.

Cheap to run and user friendly, salt and water are run through the system's electrolytic process, which then produces the clean super-solution that has such powerful properties.

With so many premature deaths each year in countries like Africa, and diseases like diarrhoea killing thousands of children, a device like this could potentially be a life saver.

Although the cleansing process itself is complicated and the initial system is costly to install, Edmond O'Reilly, the managing director of Hydrofem which produces the breakthrough Ecaflo system, says that it needs only table salt and water in order to work.

"We have been working closely with organisations like UNESCO to develop transportable units for controlling water problems in all kinds of areas," Mr O'Reilly told edie. "This system is environmentally friendly, safe and effective, and can start improving water quality all around the world right now."

A pilot Ecaflo project was recently run in Rwanda and was received with huge enthusiasm by the local people. Mr O'Reilly told edie there was only one word to describe the results: "rehydration".

The units come in many sizes, which can service one house or an entire city, and are based on a technology first discovered at the Russian Institute of Medical Sciences.

With sufficient funding, the system could certainly help to make sanitation problems a thing of the past.

By Jane Kettle



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