From prototype through production and assembly, helping to make the world a better place—one drop of water at a time

Challenge:

According to the World Health Organization, 3.4 million people, mostly children, die annually from water-related diseases, and even greater numbers are hospitalized.Current methods of water treatment include are chlorination, solar disinfection, and sand filtration. These are often costly, cumbersome, and inconvenient.  B9 Plastics wanted to develop a potable water treatment device designed for use in the developing world that is affordable, sustainable, and efficient.

The Solution:

The Better Water Maker (BWM) is a human powered ultra violet (UV) water treatment device. The BWM can produce potable water immediately, anytime and anywhere. By physically turning a crank, 12 volt electric power can be generated to pump water through a column containing an ultraviolet light bulb. The device does not allow water to flow unless it has had the proper UV light treatment. Other electronic devices that run on 12 volt DC electricity can be connected to the power generating unit as well –lights, cell phone chargers, and radios. The lightweight durable plastic units are easily movable and can be used by numerous families.

HARBEC researched and evaluated current water treatment methods and determined water would need to go through a small annulus, exposing it to UV light for a specific period of time. We enlisted the help of local universities to develop and test our ideas. It was important to find a material that was durable, exposed to various climates, and would not have any negative reactions to water. Being experts in plastics, we were able to determine the most effective polymer for this situation. As the product was used in the field, minor adjustments were desired and modifications were made quickly and easily.

The Outcome:

HARBEC had demonstrated the strength of its team to develop a product from prototype to production. HARBEC has partnered with B9 Plastics to facilitate placement of these units all over the world. The Better Water Maker is being used in churches, schools, businesses, community centers, and even as microenterprises. Each unit is providing safe drinking water for anywhere between 10 and 100s of individuals.