Safe drinking water is required for domestic purposes – for drinking, food preparation and personal hygiene. What we mean by safe is primarily that it is free from faecally-derived nasties (bacteria, viruses, protozoa and helminths) that can cause diseases. In many places - in both urban and rural settings - people have access to enough water, but that water isn’t safe enough to consume, and this led UNDP to claim in 2006 that half of the medical beds in the developing world were occupied by people suffering from water and sanitation-related diseases
Treating water at the household level can remove microbiological hazards, and therefore reduce the risks of disease to humans. If done correctly, boiling is effective in killing most pathogens. So effective in fact that it is the benchmark against which all other household water treatments are measured. Boiling water is therefore the oldest and most commonly practiced household water treatment method – a 2010 report by Rosa and Clasen estimated that of the 1.1 billion people treating their drinking water at home, 21% used the boiling method.
However, unless the water is being used for hot drinks it needs to cool before use. And if it is not being used immediately the water will need to be stored. If it isn’t stored safely, microbes from hands and utensils for example, can get back into the water, making it unsafe to drink again. To reduce the risks of insufficient boiling time and the use of recontaminated water, I would like to introduce you to a BCD egg.
The BCD egg is a timer, and also changes colour when it detects the bacteria Ecoli: the vision is a BCD egg for everyone relying on unsafe water sources.