An Israeli water technology company has developed an off-grid water purification system for households that is sustainable, cheap and easy to use, and could provide clean drinking water to millions of households in developing countries.
In developing countries, family members – usually women and children – often walk long distances to natural water sources to refill bottles and canisters.
These bodies of water can be contaminated from feces to chemicals, causing diseases ranging from cholera, diarrhea, and dysentery to hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio.
To remedy this, the Alumor company has developed a device called Miriam’s Well, after the miracle spring that, according to Jewish tradition, supplied the Israelites with water during their 40 years in the wild.
The modern Miriam’s Well is operated with solar energy and does not require a socket.
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It is equipped with advanced ultraviolet technology that kills viruses and bacteria per US National Sanitation Foundation standards, and includes a filter that only needs to be flushed a few times a year.
Women and children fill canisters with water from a seasonal pond, Nayigunya, Uganda, December 21, 2019. (Sue Surkes / Times of Israel)
Alumor’s business development director David Waimann, a cleantech entrepreneur and trained engineer originally from the UK, told the Times of Israel that household members simply plug the device into a canister or other container through a pipe and press a button.
The device is light, uses only four watts of electricity and purifies every liter of water for less than half a cent, he said.
It therefore avoids problems that have made other water treatment systems persistent in developing countries, such as: B. the need for professional maintenance support, spare parts and accessories or materials like chlorine that are not always easy to find.
Alumor’s designer and chief technical officer, Eldad Maziel, previously worked for the Strauss Group brand Tami4, one of Israel’s most popular suppliers of table water purification equipment.
CEO Dr. Yacov Malinovich is a physicist, the other team members include a hydrologist and entrepreneur, Yosef Abramowitz, who built Israel’s first solar energy field and is helping with marketing.
Miriam’s fountain. (Courtesy, alumor)
Alumor identifies a potential market of 250 million households and hopes to sell its devices at cost through nonprofit organizations.
Thanks to a government grant and award, the company has completed the product development phase and is now looking for $ 1 million to refine the device, increase its cleaning capacity from one liter to two liters per minute, test it and begin series production .
According to the World Health Organization (from 2017), 144 million people collect untreated surface water from lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, 435 million people get their water from unprotected wells and springs.
Product Manager Ofri Orgad at Miriam’s Well. (Courtesy, alumor)
In 2017, over 220 million people needed preventive treatment for schistosomiasis – an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms contracted from contact with contaminated water.
An estimated 829,000 people die each year from diarrhea as a result of unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene and hand hygiene.
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