Low-cost treatment plant can improve clean water access

Aug. 13, 2015

DENVER — Funded by the Gates Foundation, the system can improve sanitation conditions across the globe.

DENVER — A machine called the OmniProcessor has the potential to improve sanitation conditions in many places around the world, according to wired.com.

In cities such as Dakar, Senegal, where many people transfer raw sewage to manually dug holes by hand, the treatment system has partially replaced the process, lowering the risk of the rapid spread of disease, noted the article.

The OmniProcessor was developed by Janicki Bioenergy and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, stated the release. The machine is "about the size of two school buses and can convert 14 tons of sewage into potable water and electricity each day."

Bill Gates promoted the innovation with a video showing him drinking water from the system, reported the article. Now the team is figuring out how to work with locals and government officials to get more units in operation. One challenge is to show the world the machine can provide a successful business model.

"Why hasn’t anyone built one before now?" Gates said in the article. "Because the people who understood the technology weren’t getting sick or dying from contaminated water, and they didn’t know anyone who was. Nor was it clear how they could make a profit by working on the problem."

The article reported that even if the OmniProcessor fails, its contribution to sanitation research is important.

You can find the entire article here.

Watch Bill Gates and Jimmy Fallon drink treated wastewater on the Tonight Show here.

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