When a hurricane, earthquake or wildfire strikes, a variety of supplies and equipment is needed to respond and aid victims. But, clean water is a common denominator; its demand is chronic and ubiquitous. In fact, dirty water is one of Mother Nature's overlooked assassins. More than one million people perish each year after imbibing it, and according to the World Health Organization, more than one billion people lack access to its clean counterpart.
Purging water of parasites, viruses, bacteria and other grunge is nothing new. But unlike the fuel-guzzling, generator-driven systems of yesteryear, Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is seeking a portable and self-sustaining purifier, one that would lend itself to ready usage on a stand-alone basis.
Several companies responded when S&T issued an operational requirements document (ORD) for a self-contained, self-powered water purification system.
The ORD was released in April 2009 through an S&T public-private partnership known as SECURE (System Efficacy through Commercialization, Utilization, Relevance and Evaluation). The document attracted the attention of several small businesses: WorldWater, Aqua Sciences, RescueWater, Wellspring Trailer Group, First Water, Spectra Watermakers, PureSafe Water Systems and Alten Energy Solutions.
Today, these firms are actively honing their systems to the ORD's specifications. When testing is complete, each firm will deliver its data to S&T. If a technology passes muster, S&T will certify it and the firms can start marketing their wares using the SECURE insignia.
The SECURE seal of approval will help guide emergency managers who must purchase water purification systems.
A peek at some of the proposed solutions shows the SECURE program in actiontapping the free market's ingenuity for the public's benefit.
Consider the Spectra-Pearson Pump from Spectra Watermakers. As it happens
|Contact: John Verrico|
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology