Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Lifesaver Bottle

I found this life saving device on Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler's book 'Abundance.' Please read the text below from the designers site and find out about its ultra-usefulness in emerging countries.
'Even though the Lifesaver Bottle has been out on the market for a couple of years I think that it’s a great product and is worth writing about for the people that haven’t heard about it.  The Lifesaver Bottle is a portable water filtration system that only needs a puddle to give you clean water.  It filters out any contaminates down to 15nm which essentially gets rid of anything that could harm you (the smallest virus is 25nm).  Lifesaver Systems is the company that distributes the product and is run by the Lifesaver Bottle inventor, Michael Pritchard.  This product has a number of applications and could be used all over the world since all it needs to work is some water.  Let’s take a look at how the Lifesaver Bottle works.
This bottle is designed so that it is very simple for its user to get clean water.  When this project started the thinking behind it is that most people in the world live somewhere close to a water source, and therefore all they need is a filter to clean that water. So after you find a water source such as a stream, a lake, or a puddle you unscrew the bottom of the bottle, and fill it up.  The bottom of the bottle has a pump, so after it is full you screw the bottom back on and then pump up the bottle.  The pressure that builds up pushes the water through the filter and then you get a bottle of clean water.  The Lifesaver website says that the bottle cleans the water of 99.99999% of bacteria, parasites and fungi, and 99.999% of viruses.  It also reduces the number of chemicals in the water due to its carbon filter.  Because of this the Lifesaver Bottle meets or exceeds the water quality guidelines of the EPA, the UK, the European Union, and the World Health Organization.
Lifesaver focuses on three main areas that this bottle could do the most good.  One is obviously on the humanitarian side.  This whole project started when Michael was seeing the devastation from the 2004 tsunami in South-East Asia, and then Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  He saw all of these people that had lost everything and now they were surrounded by water but didn’t have any clean water and he decided to do something about it.  Traditionally during a disaster bottled water is delivered to the people in need, but with this technology you can now deliver a reusable, ecofriendly bottle instead of the throw away plastic bottles.  This bottle can be delivered to any humanitarian situation throughout the world, and as long as there is some sort of water to dump into it the people can get water.  And it doesn’t have to be a disaster.  These bottles can change lives wherever clean water is needed.  The two other applications are recreation and military, but I’m not going to go into those.
The Lifesaver Bottle is not the only product that Livesaver Systems makes.  They make a jerrycan that includes the same filtration technology as the bottle but it carries up to 5 gallons of water at a time.  Another product that they make for military applications is called the hydrocarry II.  This product is a slim, backpack type of unit that is lightweight and can be worn by soldiers while they’re out on duty.  Lastly, they have just finished developing a larger scale product called the M1.  The M1 is designed to provide up to 2 million liters of clean water, and can be integrated with a rainwater harvesting system.  It is said to be able to sterilize water at a rate of 30L/minute.  All of their products have the same filtration technology, and the only difference is the application.

There are a number of other unique features of the bottle that make it more user friendly and safe.  One is the pre-filter disc.  This is a sponge that is at the bottom of the bottle and you pour water onto it and the water then soaks into the filter.  Its main use is to keep larger particles from getting into the filter, but an added benefit is that if there is not enough water to submerge the bottle you can use this to soak up water and then squeeze it out into the filter.  Another great feature is that once the filter has lived its life (approx. 4000 or 6000 liters depending on what version you get) it will no longer let water push through, and so there is no chance that you will end up drinking contaminated water.  This is great because you don’t need to keep track of how much the filter has been used, but also don’t have to worry about drinking contaminated water.  It’s a full proof system.
While this product is almost all good, there are a couple of things that I didn’t really like about it.  One of these things is its price tag.  The 4000 L version sells for $150 on Amazon, and the 6000 L version sells for $180.  With those prices the product seems out of reach for most of the people in developing worlds, and with iodine tablets being much cheaper this may take it out of the running in most humanitarian situations.   Also, for someone using it for recreation, such as camping/hiking, this price could be discouraging unless if you are out using it frequently.  Other than that the only other problem I have with it is that it can be easily broken.  The website says that you should try and not drop or knock the bottle, but that it could take minor bumps.  This could be troublesome in any situation whether you’re hiking, you’re in the middle of a warzone, or just went through a disaster.  There is a cushioned bag that you can buy to help with this, but why not just make the product durable instead of making people buy extras?  Other than these couple of things I think that this is a great product that has a huge potential to help people all over the world.' 

For more information and to buy one for yourself you can visit Lifesaver Systems at
Be Sociable, Share!

No comments: