By Dan Kidder
The Red Cross, UNICEF and the World Health Organization have all promoted Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) as a safe, effective and easy way to make water drinkable. This technique uses the solar radiation of the sun to kill harmful organisms that can be found in unpurified water.
Puralytics has taken the SODIS method a quantum step further with the creation of their SolarBag Water Purifier. The SolarBag uses nanotechnology to enhance the power of the sun to kill micro-organisms, viruses and bacteria more quickly, while also removing heavy metals and toxins.
The three-liter BPA-free plastic bag acts as a purifier, transporter and storage container, all in a single unit. A heavy plastic grommet allows it to be hung from a tree branch or clipped to a pack with a carbineer and also serves as a handle for easy pouring.
One feature that I especially like is the Nalgene wide-mouth bottle cap, meaning it can easily be used with Nalgene bottles and a variety of other products on the market that work with this type of cap and threads.
The water purified with the SolarBag meets the EPA’s guidelines for microbiological water purifiers, killing 99.9 percent or more of bacteria, viruses and protozoa. It also breaks down toxins such as pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals like mercury and lead.
The process of the SolarBag is not solar voltaic, nor it is purely SODIS. The bag uses a unique nanotechnology that is activated by sunlight to bind toxins and kill microorganisms. It is not a filter, it’s actually a photo-catalytic process that really purifies the water rather than just filtering some things out. For instance, filters don’t catch viruses or most chemicals like pesticides and petrochemicals – as they are too small and pass right through. SolarBag’s light activated nanotechnology instead literally destroys and breaks apart all the pathogens and chemicals.
The SolarBag can be stored dry for years and can be reused hundreds of times before it needs replacing. Based upon available sunlight, the bag can treat up to nine liters of water per day.
While most water with high turbidity (floating stuff or discoloration) can take a very long time to make drinkable, with the SODIS method alone, the SolarBag can treat water that is high in turbidity or even tea-colored in about three hours of direct sunshine or six hours of cloudiness, compared to 12 hours for the SODIS method alone with clear water.
For overcast days, the SolarBag comes with Pur-Blue Process Timer, a blue indicator dye that turns clear once the water has been purified. A single drop per bag will let you know without guessing that your water is ready for drinking.
The SolarBag is an essential necessity for emergency preparedness kits, an awesome addition for backcountry camping and even a terrific tool for carrying in your car for long trips where a breakdown could make the need for water a matter of life and death. It’s lightweight, weighing only four ounces empty and stores flat so it is easy to keep on hand for an emergency.
The SolarBag is also being used in 50 countries and by humanitarian organizations to provide safe, clean drinkable water in places that lack basic sanitation. Check them out at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse.