The Herald Bulletin

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Faith

December 28, 2013

Clean water for the world

Drinking water purifiers assembled by youth group to be sent to Third World countries

ANDERSON — It was a Friday night and 16 kids huddled around metal boxes but they weren’t watching TV or playing video games. They were building something.

“Righty tighty, lefty loosey,” one boy said while placing a screw in the frame. “In propane tanks it’s different, though.”

It was just normal chit chat among the adolescents while they worked. They talked about school, compared height and had friendly back and forth banter.

But normal conversation aside, the First United Methodist Church’s youth group wasn’t working on just any ordinary project. They were putting together purifier controllers to bring clean water to people across the globe.

The youth group worked on the controllers during a lock-in Dec. 20. The rest of the evening consisted of games and a theme party, youth pastor Jake Brooks said, but the kids devoted more than an hour to assembling the devices.

The controllers are part of a larger machine called a chlorinator, which uses 12 volts from any type of power source, said Dave Peter, a member of the church who guided the kids. The system uses the power source, regular salt and water to create chlorine that kills harmful bacteria.

Peter, who is an electrical engineer, said the church has been involved for several years with New Life International, a nonprofit Christian organization that sends purification systems to countries throughout the world. It inspired him and his company TriCord Innovations to help.

Peter said the company first created a controller that cost $1,000 to 3,000 and didn’t work very well. The second generation, which is what the kids assembled during the lock-in, is simpler and costs less than $100.

“In some respects it’s a world changer,” he said.

An estimated 185 million people relied on surface water to meet their daily drinking water needs in 2011, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Throughout the world, millions of people use the same water source for drinking and all their other needs like bathing and laundry.

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