Meanwhile, the water removed from the sludge is filtered, creating clean water. The machine addresses a major inefficiency in the developing world. Some 2 billion people use latrines that aren’t properly drained.
The jarring juxtaposition is intentional. Gates intends to get the word out to the masses about the machine, which is part of a Gates Foundation effort to improve sanitation in poor countries. “The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle,” Gates continued. “And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It’s that safe.”
The machine addresses a major inefficiency in the developing world. Some 2 billion people use latrines that aren’t properly drained. That waste contaminates water, which leads to the death of more than 700,000 children each year, Gates wrote in the post.
This isn’t the first time Gates has meditated on the link between poor sanitation and disease. Since 2011, Gates has been pushing for a redesign of the toilet that was off the grid and lacked piped-in water, a sewer connection or outside electricity, but might convert the waste into fuel or fertilizer. Such a device would eliminate the type of contamination that occurs in the developing world. Read more…