A new hand-held device has been developed which is capable of sanitizing water and saving the lives of people who do not have access to regular supply of clean water .
Available for just five dollars, the device was designed as a class project by 15 student engineers.
And now it has become a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first-place-award-winning project
Craig Just, faculty advisor to the UI College of Engineering chapter of the organization Engineers for a Sustainable World, said that the EPA award represented an honour for the students and much more for citizens in developing countries.
We have some of the best students on the planet here at Iowa, and winning the competition was only the beginning. We hope to multiply the 75,000 dollars first-place award 10-fold in the coming year so that we can make a substantial human health impact in our target countries," he said.
To date, the students have worked with residents of Xicotepec, Mexico and are now planning to make water sanitizers available in Ghana and other developing countries in the future.
"I've spoken with a potential industrial partner, a worldwide distributor of chlorine generators designed for pools and spas, that is interested in the effort. These types of partnerships could greatly expand the reach of the project," said Just.
The study titled 'More Affordable Handheld Water Sanitizers' was presented by Just at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago.