Over the summer, I had the opportunity to tour MSR’s water research lab before our trip up Mt. Baker. Not only did we get a behind the scenes look at how MSR rigorously tests all their water filters/purifiers, but we also got a sneak peek at some of the non-consumer water purification projects that the company works on together with the military and non-profits such as the Gates Foundation. Apart from the super cool but top-secret military projects and the multiple forms of colorful bacteria growing in petri dishes, perhaps the most impressive non-commercial project was a portable chlorine maker. Used for purifying water on the fly in developing countries and even disaster zones, the MSR SE200 Community Chlorine Maker is helping to save lives.
MSR believes that one way to get safe water to people in need is to empower them to make it themselves. Using a simple saltwater solution and a bit of power, the MSR SE200 Community Chlorine Maker creates chlorine on the spot for use in treating drinking water.
Chlorine is powerful enough to kill disease-causing microbes, preventing illnesses such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. The problem is in low resource settings, chlorine is often unavailable or expensive due to the difficulties relating to transport and degradation. With the Community Chlorine Maker, enough chlorine can be created on the spot to treat up to 200 liters of water in just five minutes. All it takes is a few simple steps:
Salt: A solution of salt and water is mixed before it’s added to the Community Chlorine Maker.
Power: The device is connected to either a 12v battery or wall plug.
Start: At the press of a button, the device begins an electrolysis process, creating chlorine in about five minutes.
Working together with World Vision and Operation Blessing, the goal is to deploy 2,500 of these devices by the end of 2017 and get them into the hands of those that need it most, providing safe water treatment for 500,000 people around the globe.
If you are interested in supporting this initiative, MSR is currently running a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. As part of your donation, you get a coupon for a % savings on any MSR product for yourself so it’s a pretty good deal. You can even earn yourself a day with polar explorer Eric Larsen.