In case of emergency, UV energy may be used to treat drinking water

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On October 29, 2007

When a water supply is contaminated, people
are usually ordered to boil their H2O. But if Dr. Curt Elmore’s emergency
drinking water system proves reliable, people will be able to drink water that
has been treated with ultraviolet

Elmore, an associate professor of geological
engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, is working on a portable
prototype of the system for the U.S. Army. The Leonard Wood Institute has
provided $245,128 to support the

Elmore’s drinking water system, which runs on
wind and solar power, could be deployed to combat areas or to places where
natural or man-made disasters have occurred. According to Elmore, water can be
pumped from a pond or stream into the system, where it is then exposed to
energy from a UV

The UV lamp looks like a fluorescent light
bulb — but it is capable of destroying bacteria and even explosives compounds
in groundwater. In Elmore’s prototype, the treated water is stored in a tank
and delivered to thirsty consumers through a

“For example, people staying at emergency
shelters could fill personal water bottles while they wait out a disaster,"
Elmore says.         

Elmore plans to test the system at Fort
Leonard Wood in the coming year. He says the prototype fits in the back of a
pick-up truck and doesn’t require a lot of

According to Elmore, commercial versions of
the system would be affordable for most municipalities.

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On October 29, 2007. Posted in Research