Urgent Evoke

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UV Light to Sterilize Drinking Water in Africa

Using UV radiation is known to be an effective way to sterilize water. Why? Because the radiation kills the DNA of any living organisms in the water, thus making them unable to reproduce in the human body- or anywhere else, for that matter. The micro-organisms aren't dead, but they can't make any more of themselves!! Hahaha

And if you think about it, what do many of the African nations have plenty of? Well, I'm in Ghana right now, and I would argue that it is SUNSHINE. Plenty of UV rays to go around!! So I searched a bit online to find someone who may already be using this technology in the developing world.

This is what I found: http://waterwars.pulitzergateway.org/?p=558 which explains a pilot project in Nairobi where water is left in bottles out in the sun for a number of hours so that it becomes safe to drink. However, there are a number of drawbacks: e.g. you can't use it on rainy days, you can only treat small amounts at once etc. So it's not perfect- but it's a start! And I think it is a really interesting one at that. An idea worth working to improve.

Views: 99

Comment by Reid Falconer on April 27, 2010 at 11:00am
Great post, I think you are talking about SODIS (Solar Disinfection), this is a great method to create safe drinking water!

Here is the site if you wish to learn more about this great innovation:
Comment by Teresa R on April 27, 2010 at 11:20am
Cool, thanks Reid! Do you know if there are any dangers with this method? I've heard that leaving plastic bottles in the sun for too long releases chemicals into the water...do you know if this is true?
Comment by Gaby on April 27, 2010 at 12:03pm
Interesting post. Definitely an idea that should be developed further. Thanks for sharing this :)
Comment by Reid Falconer on April 27, 2010 at 12:15pm
Ya I've heard that a lot, and I have been searching the web to find an to answer your question but I cant find anything :( but I did read somewhere that plastic bottles can release chemicals that may cause cancer. I will search further and let you no if I find anything. :)


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