In Japan, earlier this year before the earthquake and tsunami hit, a new product was released that would enable those who ride bicycles to purify contaminated water sources making them palatable for drinking. Little did the Nippon Basic Company realize how important such achievements might become in the days and weeks ahead. Dubbed the Cycloclean, the bicycle can purify as much as five liters of water a minute. All a user has to do is put the bike on its stand and pedal in order to bring water up through the filters and turn it into clean drinking water. Innovations are always being made to mobile water purification systems, and it’s interesting to consider what the future might bring.
There are a few problems in assuming that devices like the Cycloclean might provide the mobile water purification systems the stricken country needs: chances are good that any of these bikes available were swept out to sea in the tsunami,there may not have been many of them in circulation, because the price tag is $6,000, and they aren’t really practical in mass situations like this one. However, different types of systems are available and have been put into use in Japan and following other disasters with great success. In a disaster, people need to drink water they can trust is free of contaminants, because they don’t really need to deal with some type of an epidemic caused by polluted water.
A lot of work has been done on solar water treatment systems, and there is a real possibility that devices containing solar filters will become even more widespread in the future. There is a lot of potential to be found in the portable systems that are being developed, because they can be used in many areas where other types of filtration units won’t work due to lack of electrical power. Solar units are now being supplied to disaster areas and sent to Iran to provide water to American troops. Only time will tell where solar technology will take the water filtration industry, but they are predicting a bigger and brighter future.
The need for clean, sanitary water around the world is very real, and the technology to produce it is finding its way into more remote regions every day. There is nothing that mankind needs more than fresh water, and that fact is never going to change. Therefore, the technology to make it out of contaminated water sources is going to continue to develop until people everywhere have the safe water they need to drink.