Cleaning up our act

The Artdog Image(s) of Interest 


Last week’s Image of Interest opened my month’s Image theme of volunteering in our community as a way of making the world a better place. That photo showed kids working in a food pantry. This week it’s a photo from 2011, of the results from a cleanup effort along the Huron River. 

It reminds me of the sequence in the movie Spirited Away, when the Stink Spirit comes to the bath house for a much-needed cleansing . . . and of the aftermath left behind.

Water quality matters–just ask Flint, Michigan. Does your calling lead you to aid efforts that promote water conservation and anti-pollution efforts?

IMAGES: Many thanks to The Ann Arbor News, for the Huron River cleanup photo. I am grateful to Ouno Design for the image from the 2001 movie Spirited Away, from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.

Water on wheels

The Artdog Image(s) of Interest 

Nippon Basic founder Yuichi Katsuura demonstrates
the Cycloclean bike-mounted water purifier.

During “Social Justice February” I’ve been looking at innovative ways to deliver safe, clean, affordable water to populations that need it. 

The United Nations recognizes access to good water as a basic human right–and it isn’t only in developing nations where it’s a problem.

Remember Flint, MI, where problems with lead contamination in the water will unfortunately continue to be an issue for several more years.

Providing good water in times of disaster is a particular challenge, and that was the spur for innovation that created the Cycloclean, a product of the Nippon Basic Co., Ltd. It’s a kinetic water-purifier mounted on a bicycle.

How does it work? Well, first of all, it can go anywhere you can ride (or push) a bicycle, so it’s pretty portable. It uses no gasoline or other fuel (except pedal-power), so it’s entirely eco-friendly (though possibly not so leg-friendly).

Park it next to a water source, insert the hose, then prop up the bike on its stand (one website called them the bike’s “crutches,”) and hop on for some vigorous pedaling.

This pumps the water up the hose, into the purification filters, and out to whatever catch-vessel you have–cans, jars, or maybe one of last week’s Hippo Water Rollers.

The biggest drawback to the Cycloclean right now is its price. Though it varies from country to country, it costs several thousand dollars for one unit. So far, the main customers have been local Japanese governments, especially in mountain villages. But the company also has been expanding into Bangladesh and elsewhere, and prices are coming down.

IMAGES: Many thanks to InfoHeaps, for the photo of Katsuura on the Cycloclean and the “Simple Overview” diagram. The close-up of the filters on the bike is courtesy of The Rakyat Post, via BaikBike, and the side-view of the bike with the unit mounted on it is from the Leonard J Kovar’s Self Sufficiency Off-the-Grid Survival post “Cool Water Purification Gadgets,” which also features the LifeStraw. Thanks very much to all!

A different kind of “water wheel”

The Artdog Image(s) of Interest

This month the Images of Interest have been exploring better ways for people around the world to gain better access to clean, safe water–defined by the UN as a basic human right, but out of reach for millions, if not billions (different sources cite different numbers) of people all over the world.

Previous posts have discussed ways to make the water safe to drink, via LifeStraws and ceramic water purifiers but before you can clean it you have to get it. 

And bring it home.

Some people in “undeveloped” parts of the world may spend up to a quarter of their lives hauling water.

Enter the Hippo Water RollerThis reimagined child of a water barrel and a wheelbarrow holds about five times as much as the average bucket, and was designed by two South Africans who grew up in rural areas, Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker.

They’ve been making them since 1991. As of mid-2016, some 50,000 of them had been distributed to more than 20 countries, and countless lives have been improved.

I guess that’s just the way they roll.*

*Augh! Sorry! Couldn’t resist.

VIDEO: Many thanks to Hippo Roller’s Flickr Photostream for the still shot of Hippo Water Roller users in action, and to Insider on YouTube for the Hippo Water Roller video. And a tip of the hat to Warren Whitlock (@WarrenWhitlock) for alerting me to this ingenious solution to an age-old problem!

These aren’t just any old flowerpots

The Artdog Image of Interest

These Cambodians are making life-saving devices. Those things that look like flowerpots are actually ceramic water purifiers. They save lives by making it possible for people to have clean, safe drinking water, even when their only water source is a muddy, polluted river. They’ve dramatically cut down on diarrheal illnesses since they were first introduced in 2002. That they can be made locally and employ local people is an added bonus.

The filters work surprisingly well, for such a low-tech solution. They eliminate approximately 99.88% of water-borne disease agents.

As far as I could discover, the principle was first developed by Henry Doulton, a Victorian pottery manufacturer (his father co-founded the Royal Doulton company), who was inspired by the discoveries of Louis Pasteur.

In honor of Social Justice February, this month I’m exploring innovative, sustainable technologies for delivering clean water to populations in needThe United Nations declared in 2010 that access to clean water and sanitation is a basic human right, and called upon all nations to help ensure that “safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation” should be accessible to everyone on the earth. Yet such access is unavailable to literally billions of people, and the pressures of climate change and population growth make the problem worse each year.

IMAGE: Many thanks to cfile Daily for this image and an informative story to go with it.

If water is life . . .

The Artdog Image of Interest

Are these guys crazy? No. They’re demonstrating a new technology that’s begun saving lives all over the world. It’s called a LifeStraw, and it’s an on-the-spot water purifier. Originally designed to help vulnerable populations gain access to clean water, it also is marketed for about $20 per unit to hikers and backpackers in the developed world.

Does it work? Very well, if you believe more than 5,000 customer reviews on Amazon. It also lasts for a while, capable of purifying up to 264 gallons of water

Lifestraws are made by the Vestergaard company.

In honor of Social Justice February, this month I’ll be exploring innovative, sustainable technologies for delivering clean water to populations in need. The United Nations declared in 2010 that access to clean water and sanitation is a basic human right, and called upon all nations to help ensure that “safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation” should be accessible to everyone on the earth. Yet such access is unavailable to literally billions of people, and the pressures of climate change and population growth make the problem worse each year.

IMAGE: Many thanks to MintPress News, for this photo and an accompanying article that tells more.