Bad water can be as deadly as no water at all, and scientists and designers alike are searching for portable, affordable, and sustainable methods of converting dirty water from a lake, stream, or puddle into something potable. While traveling in Zambia, designer Timothy Whitehead was inspired to develop a simpler and faster way of sterilizing water than the traditional method of waiting 30 minutes for a chlorine or iodine tablet to work. The result of Whitehead’s research is Pure, a water bottle that provides clean drinking water in just two minutes using a wind-up, ultraviolet light to sterilize the water quickly without any distortion to taste common with the use of chlorine or iodine tablets. While ideal for third world countries, the bottle could also be used by hikers, the military, or anytime someone is in a remote location.
To get clean water, the user first fills the bottle’s outer chamber with dirty water, which is then plunged (much like a coffee press) and filtered. The clear water is then sterilized for 90 seconds using a wind-up ultraviolet light bulb. Pure recently won a Silver 2011 IDEA award in the Student Designs category, and it is also a finalist in this year’s INDEX: Awards.