Outdoor gear manufacturer Mountain Safety Research (MSR) and Seattle-based international nonprofit organization and global health innovation leader PATH have announced the launch of a new water treatment product.
The MSR SE200 Community Chlorine Maker is a portable device that can produce enough chlorine to treat up to 200 liters of safe drinking water in low resource and disaster stricken communities in just five minutes with the push of a button.
The launch is the result of a five-year partnership to bring low-cost community water solutions to the global market. The two organizations commemorated the launch at an event held at MSR’s manufacturing plant near downtown Seattle, where the device will be made.
More than 700 million people lack access to quality sources of drinking water, and unsafe water conditions contribute to diarrheal disease, one of the leading causes of preventable childhood deaths in developing countries.
Chlorine is an effective method for destroying pathogenic microorganisms and has been shown to reduce the threat of waterborne disease. However, many people living in urban slums and rural villages have limited access to chlorine due to cost and unreliable supply.
Using only salt, water, and a power source (via local power sources or a 12 volt battery), the MSR SE200 produces a consistent concentration of chlorine solution on demand that can be used to treat water at wells, water kiosks, water trucks, in schools, and other common sources of community water.
The SE200 is the first product from the newly-created MSR Global Health division, dedicated to improving access to innovative technologies for people living on less than $5 per day.
“Over five years ago PATH saw that we were engineering water treatment products for the military and outdoor recreation market, and partnered with us to co-design these technologies into products that can make a sustainable difference in global health,” said Joe McSwiney, president of Cascade Designs, the parent company of MSR. “The MSR SE200 Chlorine Maker is just the beginning of what we have planned, and we look forward to fostering our Seattle partnerships to continue developing products that save lives.”
The MSR SE200 Community Chlorine Maker was made possible with assistance from other Seattle-based nonprofits including Christian humanitarian organization World Vision and the Washington Global Health Alliance. Through the Life Science Discovery Fund, World Vision will be introducing the first 150 MSR SE200 Community Chlorine Maker products off the factory line in both East and West African communities.
“We are grateful to our partners at MSR and PATH for their shared commitment to ensure that everyone has clean and safe water,” said Greg Allgood, vice president of water at World Vision.
Mentorship, funding, years of technology development, and field evaluation was provided by multiple organizations including philanthropic foundations, international NGOs, and the US military. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Laird Norton Family Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, and individual donors have all supported the development of the MSR SE200.
In addition, the U.S. military evaluated the MSR SE200 Chlorine Maker as an option for humanitarian assistance and disaster response in a natural disaster simulation exercise in Thailand.