Fresh clean water—seemingly accessible and plentiful as the air we breathe. Whenever we need it, it streams freely from the faucets into our homes or is available in plastic bottles. It may be difficult to imagine that more than 1 billion people don’t have access to clean water. It is distressing that every day more than 4,000 children die from diseases caused by contaminated drinking water.
In an effort to deliver clean drinkable water to those without, ACS has partnered with Procter and Gamble (P&G) to purchase water purifier packets. P&G, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, developed a low-cost technology in the form of water purification packets that can be used to turn potentially heavily contaminated water into clean and safe drinking water. These packets are being distributed through the Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) foundation.
Each 4-gram packet treats 10 liters of water similar to the water treatment process used in municipal water systems. The active ingredients in these packets are calcium hypochlorite as a disinfectant and ferric sulfate as a coagulant. As the result of this treatment, even heavily contaminated water meets World Health Organization standards for safe drinking water. See the packets in action on the CSDW website.
The ChemMatters video below shows how water is treated at a Wastewater Treatment Plant, which treats a whopping 370 million gallons of sewage a day!
So what are ChemClubs doing to help?
This year, ChemClubs will reach out to their community with fundraising events to raise money and awareness of the significance of clean water.
Our goal is to raise $5,000 (with over 500 clubs—less than $10 per club!) to purify 500,000 liters (over 132,000 gallons) which means clean water for over 650 children for a year.
Watch the thermometer rise as donations are received. The ChemClubs are making a difference in the world with chemistry!