There’s a glass trough filled with clear water before you. To this trough, you add some filthy water, some stinking pond water with moss and algae, some filth from the sewers, some rabbit crap and then stir the contents in the trough. You now have a trough containing a revolting mixture before you. Would you, even in the wildest of your dreams, think about drinking water from this trough? Probably not!! However, Michael Pritchard will do it without hesitation as he is the inventor of the Lifesaver bottle, supposedly the world’s first ultra-filtration bottle which will allow you to drink water from any source, from the cleanest to the most polluted. The filtration concept itself is simple – apart from activated carbon found in almost all water filters, the Lifesaver bottle uses filter membranes with pores smaller than the smallest virus, thereby blocking all pathogens and unwanted pollutants. The FAQs on the company website also claim that you could drink your own urine if passed through a Lifesaver bottle, but it’s not recommended [ perhaps as it makes urine therapy less effective!! 😉 ]
Watch Michael Pritchard’s demo of the Lifesaver bottle (at TED) below:
The Lifesaver bottle or jerry can could save the lives of millions of people around the world in dire need of drinking water, but for this ultra filtration technology to really change the world, it must be affordable, safe to use and easily accessible.
The Lifesaver bottle scores well on safety. The bottle has been tested and certified by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (laboratory test results). Also, when the bottle’s filtering mechanism expires, the filtering system simply shuts down preventing unsafe consumption of water.
Regarding affordability, you can check the cost of Lifesaver products here. They are expensive and will not be affordable by the people who need them most. Michael Pritchard believes that developed countries which provide massive aid to developing countries can include these bottles as part of their aid packages. However, for Lifesaver products to be more affordable and easily accessible, perhaps Michael should license the technology to manufacturers around the world with utmost importance given to adherence to quality. The developing and poor countries wherein people are more likely to fall short of drinking water are typically also the countries where corruption is widely prevalent and so many fake bottles could be manufactured thereby putting several lives in danger. So, while this technology is wonderful in the benefits it can bring to millions, there’s still more to be done to realize the benefits.