Solar Water Purifier

A device measuring the absorption of the sun’s rays that indicates when water disinfection, using the SODIS method, is complete.

Scale-Ups FellowJackie Linnes 
WebsitePotaVida
Pilot MarketZambia
PartnerWorld Vision
Scale-Ups Year

2012

Meet Scale-Ups Fellow, Jackie Linnes
Jackie holds a Ph.D. in Bioengineering and a certificate in Global Health from the University of Washington.  She is an expert in bacterial pathogens and implementing engineering solutions that improve global health. Jackie has extensive global health implementation experience in addition to developing the solar water purifier in collaboration with World Vision and rural communities in Zambia. She has previously led an assessment of user response and health impacts of improved cooking stoves for Engineers Without Borders in rural Bolivia and worked with local manufacturers to build prototypes of ultraviolet lamps to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in Nicaragua.

The Issue: Need for verification of the SODIS method of water disinfection
There are 780 million people in the world lacking access to safe drinking water. Solar disinfection, or SODIS, is an extremely low‐cost household method of disinfecting water using only clear plastic bottles or bags and sunlight. However, it is not possible to tell when the process is complete, and this creates a significant barrier to adoption.

The Solution: A monitor that shows the user when disinfection is complete
The Solar Water Purifier solves this by measuring sunlight and showing the user when the water is clean. Just one monitor is needed per family. The device runs on solar power and lasts up to five years. At only a few dollars per family member, the Solar Water Purifier is an affordable solution to a frustrating problem in water sanitation in the developing world. The Solar Water Purifier is currently in its third design iteration, optimizing for usability and low cost manufacturability.