Sun-powered purifier transforms polluted water

    Two New Jersey inventors say they have an earth-friendly and inexpensive way to make water safe for drinking.

    Two New Jersey inventors say they have an earth-friendly and inexpensive way to make water safe for drinking.

    The water purification system is the size of a small catering truck and is just as mobile.

    The inventors set up in Philadelphia and took just a few minutes to turn murky Schuylkill River water crystal clear.

    David Squires is chief financial officer of the system maker Essential Elements: Can I offer anybody a glass of that?

    Inventor Mike Strizki says his system — called the Hydra — uses an ultra fine filter to clear out viruses and bacteria that make people sick.

    Strizki: If you live along the river and you are in danger of flooding, the first thing that happens is that you get sewage in the water, and the wells get contaminated. They could drive these things around the city, and set it up and give people to drinking water to drink.

    Other mobile systems run on diesel. The Hydra is powered by the sun.

    Excess solar electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can be used to power the Hydra at night.

    The system can clean enough water to comfortably supply about 5,000 people a day and costs about $100,000.

    The manufacturers hope to sell the water purifier to disaster relief and foreign aid groups.

    Strizki says it takes water and power to turn a “third world” country into a “second world” country – and his invention supplies both.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.