Bicycle Power to Clean Water for Those Who Need it Most

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on March 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

What if there was a way to use the power of cycling to provide clean water for people who need it? Surprise: apparently, there is. As reported by, a company called Nippon Basic is producing the Cycloclean, a bike with a built-in water purification system. From a quote on their website:

1,900,000 children a year lose their life due to unclean water (UNICEF)

They state that the bike is durable, built to withstand rough terrain in order to get to hard-to-reach water sources. Once at the water source, a hose is lowered into the water (can go as deep as 5 meters) and a pump siphons the water into the system. The rear tire of the bicycle is then raised off the ground and the bike is pedaled, circulating the water through a series of micro-filtration membranes before reaching a storage container.

1.3 gallons of clean water can be produced per minute with this system. It doesn’t come cheap, however. The company’s website lists the bikes at 550,000 yen, around US $6700. In the past five years they have produced about 200 bikes but plan to step up production from a plant in Bangladesh.

A skeptical commentor wasn’t shy voicing an opinion on the cost:

there are other, arguably easier ways to purify water in remote areas, and this company is almost criminal to be asking nearly $7000 for the generic, low-quality bicycle they’re offering to attach to this purification system. it would be just as easy and far cheaper to purchase a separate water purification system online (anywhere from $100 to $200) and a bike of similar quality ($100 to $200) for a fraction of the cost.

What do you think?

[Image: cod_gabriel / Flickr]

Tags: filter, Japan, nippon basic, water

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