News Feature | September 4, 2014

Latest In Clean Water Tech: The Bicycle

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome


A new invention purifies water using the power generated by bike riding.  

The idea is to purify water without the need for electricity. Peddling the bike delivers power to a battery, which powers an ultraviolet bulb, WWLP reported

"Exposure to the bulb purifies and disinfects the water. UV is used on a much larger scale for water systems in New York and Seattle," said Amy Doering Smith, the CEO of Safi Water Works, to KGW News. "It's proven technology. We know it works."

The Portland, OR, startup wants to help people who don't have access to clean drinking water. The company is targeting urban areas where people have to boil the water they collect from community water centers. It is focusing on East Africa, in particular. 

"The boiling takes so much time. They boil in the morning and at night just to keep up a supply," Doering Smith said in the report. "We want to reduce the number of people who die from water related illnesses – more than 3 million people die every year." 

Configured so that it can remain stationary, the bike cleans about 20 liters of water in a few minutes. 

Is peddling the bike a challenging workout?

"I pedal in heels. Others can do it barefoot and even kids can produce enough power," Doering Smith said in the report. "It's pretty easy."

The invention aims to provide a business model that can be lucrative for entrepreneurs in developing countries. The products is "marketed to local entrepreneurs in the developing world to own and operate clean water businesses," the company says.

Check out Water Online's Drinking Water Contaminant Removal Solution Center.

Image credit: "Street Scenes: Dutch families on the move," Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ © 2012, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license:

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