IWA cites Puralytics’ solution to provide access to safe drinking water in Malawi project
Beaverton, Ore. - The International Water Association (IWA) has announced that Puralytics®’ SolarBag® will receive its Global Honour Award for Drinking Water Supply (Hardware Category) for its innovative solution to providing access to safe drinking water. The IWA will present its 2013 Project Innovation Development Awards Oct. 15 in Nairobi. The award will jointly recognize Puralytics and Good Samaritan Ministries for their combined work to implement and administer this uniquely successful drinking water project across Peri-urban Malawi.
“Many regions in Malawi, Africa are struggling with access to safe drinking water,” said Puralytics CEO Mark Owen. “Urban areas are often subject to tap water supplies of little to no water treatment while the surrounding rural communities may be forced to drink from untreated and poorly maintained wells and bore-holes. With that, we wanted to demonstrate how our technology could be used in Malawi and across Africa as an effective, flexible and low-cost drinking water solution for both difficult urban and rural, remote situation needs.”
The SolarBag, developed by Puralytics, is a reusable water purification device that uses a sunlight-activated nanotechnology to produce up to 9 liters of safe, drinking water each day. Its award-winning design has the broadest contaminant protection available, removing heavy metals, destroying chemical contaminants like pesticides and petrochemicals, while also eliminating bacteria, viruses, and protozoa while exceeding EPA water purifier standards. As such, the 3-liter SolarBag is the only non-powered, non-chemical device that actually meets both the World Health Organization (WHO) standards for safe drinking water and the SPHERE international guidelines for individual daily drinking water quantities.
“Good Samaritan Malawi (GS Malawi) already had an established presence working in the Bolero and Mzuzu regions of Malawi and had been evaluating options to empower residents with access to safe drinking water by introducing new and sustainable methods for water treatment,” said Jill Hartzell, GS Malawi country leader. “Puralytics and GS Malawi worked together to distribute and monitor Puralytics’ SolarBags to the Malawians participating in GS Malawi’s network of village programs.”
SolarBag usage and performance information was relayed back though GSM to Puralytics every month since the project’s implementation in late 2012, with overwhelmingly positive results:
- User training proved to be very successful, resulting in only four reported cases of improper use in four villages.
- Product adoption showed the SolarBags were used multiple times per day over a 9-month period since late 2012, with 92 percent of the SolarBags continuing to function normally.
- More than 82 percent of the users said they drank more water after receiving their SolarBag and 89 percent claimed they felt sick less frequently.
- More than 91 percent acknowledged boiling less water for treatment, reducing their expenses for fuel and more than 96 percent said their water tasted and smelled better after using the SolarBag.
The SolarBag is uniquely effective as the only water purifier that's proven to remove virtually every lethal toxin found in contaminated water, including gasoline, diesel fuel, pesticides, herbicides, toxic heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, and pharmaceuticals like artificial hormones and animal antibiotics. The nanotechnology is activated by UV sunlight and therefore works on both sunny and cloudy days and does not require any external power source, consumables or chemicals
The SolarBag is easy to use. Users need only fill the SolarBag with water and leave it exposed to the sun for a few hours, allowing it to be used multiple times per day. The empty bag can be stored for up to 7 years and can be reused hundreds of times, making it ideal for both emergency response needs and as an ongoing, affordable solution for rural or remote situations.