Water-purification plant the size of a fast-food ketchup packet saves lives

Pocket-Sized Water Purification Technology Saves LivesWorld Health

Diarrhea from contaminated drinking water is second only to pneumonia as a cause of childhood deaths worldwide. More than 2,000 children die every day as a result of diarrheal illnesses. The Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) program, a humanitarian effort led by Procter & Gamble, has distributed water-purification packets, which transform cloudy, brown water into crystal-clear, drinkable water that meets all the requirements for drinking water.  

The chemistry is impressive, yet the application is impressively simple. It involves pouring the contents of one packet, which weighs less than an ounce, into a bucket of 10 quarts of water and stirring. Dirt, parasites and other material drop to the bottom, and disease-causing microbes die. The water-purification packets produced their 6 billionth quart of potable water earlier this year.








9 thoughts on “Water-purification plant the size of a fast-food ketchup packet saves lives

  1. There’s a retail list at http://www.pg.com/pur_packet.shtml; click on the blue link at the bottom of the page for “get a kit.”

    I don’t know what the ratios are per unit of water, but if you can get hold of ferric sulfate (used as the coagulant) and calcium hypochlorite (used as the disinfectant), you could probably make your own packets to use in an emergency situation. I would still want to rack and filter the water though, and let it sit in the sun for 1 day to help evaporate and disperse the chloride before drinking.

    Very cool post, Cathleen. I had no idea P&G was doing this. Good on Foster Gamble.

    1. I thought so too. Had to do some research to find, but come to find out P&G also makes the Pur home water filter pitchers.
      . . .

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