Published on February 3rd, 2014 | by Tina Casey1
WaterStop Carts Mobile Filtration Concept Could Serve In Emergency
A startup called WaterStop Carts LLC is pitching its mobile purified water dispenser as a handy alternative to single-use bottled water for people on the go. That got us to thinking that the WaterStop Cart, or small-scale devices like it, could start factoring into disaster relief.
For a recent example, take a look at the response to the January 9 West Virginia chemical spill, which has already involved huge quantities of bottled water in addition to large-scale deliveries by water truck.
The water deliveries don’t appear to be ending any time soon, either. Although the water was declared safe to drink last week, according to West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin many residents are still afraid to use their tap water. The result, as Tomblin wrote last week in a letter to FEMA, is that many people are continuing to demand bottled water, a situation that he feels may continue indefinitely.
On January 30 — a full three weeks after the chemical spill was first detected — Tomblin also wrote to West Virginia American Water, the company affected by the spill, requesting more shipments of bottled and potable water for the entire affected area.
So, in the context of the continued fallout from the West Virginia chemical spill, let’s see what WaterStop Carts has to offer.
The WaterStop Carts Solution
CleanTechnica reported on the launch of WaterStop Carts at Indiegogo last month as part of a sponsored series commissioned by the company. The topic of disaster relief didn’t come up then, although now that you mention it the company does mention a number of potential markets including the Department of Defense.
Initially, WaterStop is focusing on building five demo models for the school market, as a way of providing students with a much-needed refillable alternative to conventional vending machines.
The focus on schools is especially on point given that the West Virginia Gazette is now reporting that traces of Crude MCHM, the coal-washing chemical implicated in the spill, have turned up in at least six schools as of February 6 even after the plumbing was flushed.
That brings up a key issue in this type of disaster, where the water supply of a nine county area was contaminated building-to-building. Even after the source and the central treatment plant are cleaned up, individual plumbing systems may still contain traces of the contaminant.
The basic WaterStop Carts concept seems to fit the need. Rather than trucking water in over long distances, the carts can be filled from a local water supply, then positioned where needed. The water is purified by the same filtration system, according to WaterStop, typically used by bottled water companies.
That fits in with WaterStop’s motto and main concept, which is “Accessibility through Mobility.” Rather than setting up a relatively few central locations for dispensing emergency water supply, a battery of small push-carts could be deployed over a wider area, relieve residents in the affected areas from traveling long distances in search of clean water.
The first-generation cart will run its filtration system off a battery, but plans are already afoot to add a solar tower and a Wi-Fi hot spot, both of which could also come in handy during an emergency.
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*This article has been supported by WaterStop Carts LLC, but as is always the case: we don’t run sponsored articles for technologies or companies that we don’t think deserve more eyes and positive press.