Disrupt NY 2016
A month earlier than Disrupt, Yu Zhou despatched us an e mail titled, “We need to assist clear up the Flint water drawback.” WaterO’s CEO wasn’t claiming to have the catchall answer to the lead drawback plaguing the Michigan metropolis, however his firm was in a singular place to help.
Since then, the Los Angeles-based mostly startup introduced it has teamed up with the charity WATERisLIFE to ship 5,000 of the corporate’s water filtration methods to assist in giving Flint residents entry to wash consuming water.
The WaterO is a tabletop system roughly the dimensions of a bread maker that makes use of reverse osmosis, a better and extra exacting know-how than the carbon filters discovered in your on a regular basis, run-of-the-mill pitchers from the likes of Brita or PUR.
The system makes use of strain to push water by means of a membrane, leaving particles bigger than H2O behind within the course of. It’s efficient in eradicating heavy metals like lead and mercury, together with chlorine and micro organism.
It’s a course of that has existed for a while, however WaterO has utilized it to a self-contained system with a small footprint, whereas managing to extend its effectivity. Earlier than the water reaches the fourth filter, it enters a recycling mode, serving to scale back the water waste. Within the firm’s course of, eighty % of the water is made drinkable. The remaining stays behind in a pitcher that can be utilized to, say, water the crops.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) Might 9, 2016
The system was 5 years within the making. Zhou says it happened, partially, as a consequence of his personal hydration habits. “I drink a number of water,” he defined in an interview forward of Disrupt. “I don’t drink it from the faucet, as a result of I don’t just like the odor. I purchased lots of bottled water from the grocery retailer. It’s annoying as a result of I have to go each three days to get extra water. I did some analysis into putting in a reverse osmosis system, however I couldn’t do it in my rented house.”
The corporate took to Indiegogo to assist fund the venture and gauge shopper curiosity, finally promoting between 300 to four hundred models within the course of. These are set to start out delivery subsequent month, at which level the WaterO system may also open up for on-line retail at $300 apiece.
The consumer fills up a pitcher from the faucet and locations it within the machine. The system goes to work operating it by way of 4 separate filters, a course of that takes round 10 or so minutes. As soon as completed, a display shows the beginning TDS (Complete Dissolved Solids), a measurement of non-H2O particles dissolved within the water, adopted by the publish-filtration numbers.
The New York Metropolis faucet water we used registered round one hundred eighty — drinkable, however not nice. By the point the machine was achieved with it, we have been at a much more acceptable 5. The corporate additionally introduced a jug of lead-contaminated water from Flint (together with one other crammed filled with salt water) to at present’s Disrupt presentation. The machine was capable of scale back the contaminated water from 147 TDS down to five, which our guinea pigs judges then proceeded to style.
And like me, they agreed the water tasted fairly good.
The TDS, it ought to be identified, is just the variety of non-water particles. It could possibly be mud or it might be one thing much more dangerous like lead. Zhou says the corporate is hoping to develop a extra exact measurement.
The system is, naturally, related to an app that additionally shows this info, together with the well being of the 4 filters within the rear and retains monitor of the quantity of water the consumer has consumed in a day. Extra compelling to Zhou nevertheless, is a function that measures water high quality throughout totally different machines in the identical space, monitoring general high quality for neighborhoods.
“We need to construct a wholesome consuming group with the app,” he explains. “Think about when you’ve got this machine in 10 totally different houses in the identical space. You’ll be able to know the TDS within the space. If it goes up too excessive, you’ll be able to sound the emergency alarm.”