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Miracle bottle is a life-saver in disaster areas

September 13, 2007 17:21 IST

The tsunami that ravaged parts of India and South East Asia three years ago seems to have had a positive fallout as well.

An Ipswich-based businessman who runs a water treatment business was moved on seeing images of the Asian tsunami victims struggling for fresh water, and of the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana in 2005.

Something had to be done, Michael Pritchard told himself, reports The Daily Telegraph, London.

After many attempts and a few prototypes he had his solution ready.

His invention, a 'life-saver' bottle, was launched at the DESI defence show in London on Wednesday and was an instant hit; his entire stock of 1000 bottles were sold out in no time.

Pritchard's bottle uses a filter that can clean up any water – including faecal matter – making it a veritable boon in disaster-hit areas where clean drinking water is rare, and also a boon for the armed forces who are forced to put up with iodine-flavoured water.

Unlike conventional filters that can prevent bacteria measuring more than 200 nanometres but not viruses which are 25 nanometres long, Pritchard's bottle uses a filter that halts anything longer than 15 nanometres.

The 'life-saver' bottle comes at a price, though. At 190 pounds (Rs 14,748.90), it is clearly beyond the budget of most individuals. But the upside is that it can distill up to 6000 litres without needing a filter change.

The Rediff News Bureau