From Sewage to Sip-able

The Problem

One of the world’s largest problems is the lack of safe drinking water. Every day, 700 million people drink unsafe water. They are taking a risk of contracting several viruses and diseases that have proven to be fatal. In fact, this causes the death of over one million children under the age of five annually. A main source of the problem is because nearly 2.5 billion people do not have adequate sanitation facilities. That’s over one fourth of the entire planets population. This in turn contaminates their drinking water. This contaminated water, once ingested, is responsible for 10% of all diseases worldwide. These statistics are astounding. Lucky there has been a break through in a solution to the problem. Self-sustainable water purification processors have the potential to not only enhance lives but save them as well.

The Solution

Since 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has been funding research at various independent labs and universities into what they are calling the Omni Processor. The Omni Processor is a self-sustainable water purification processor that aims to remove all pathogens from sludge, sewage, and other waste and transform it into pure drinking water. It also has the potential to generate other outputs, such as soil nutrients. These nutrients can be reused in agriculture and can be a source of commercial revenue. In 2015, the funding and research paid off. There is a working prototype that Bill Gates himself has publicly demonstrated its effectiveness. Each Omni Processor has the potential to help 100,000 people have access to clean drinking water. This could have a substantial impact on developing countries world wide.


The main intended use of the Omni Processor is to bring easily accessible clean drinking water to under-developed areas around the globe. Financial challenges are a main source of difficulty. The financial capital required to make, ship, and set up an Omni Processor is extremely expensive. Another challenge surrounding the Omni processor is the labor required to keep the processor running. Current pit latrines have little to no infrastructure; therefore, they oftentimes must be manually emptied using shovels or other devices. In order for Omni Processors to penetrate the market and have a global impact, they must adapt their established technologies to be cheaper yet just as effective.