New Jersey company helps with Philippines typhoon relief

Watch report from Action News
November 20, 2013 3:42:48 PM PST
A South Jersey company is doing its part to help the typhoon relief effort. It has a special device that could mean the difference between life and death for tens of thousands of refugees in the disaster zone.

At a warehouse in Hopewell, technicians from WorldWater and Solar Technologies are preparing to ship three desperately needed water purifiers to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines.

The 800 pound solar-powered purifiers can take contaminated water and quickly turn it into water that storm victims can drink.

"We will take the ugliest water you can imagine, whether it's totally polluted or polluted plus sea water with salt, when it comes out in two minutes it's absolutely drinkable," says Quentiin Kelly, WorldWater and Solar CEO.

Depending on the size of the unit the purifiers can provide enough potable water for up to 6000 people a day.

They are portable, too, and can easily be delivered by military helicopters.

They were used after Katrina, Fukushima, and several natural disasters around the globe.

"This is a four stage process. Three stages take out sediment, and the fourth stage - the ultrafilter - take out bacteria and micro-organisms," explained Vice President of Operations Mickey Ingels.

The purifiers are powered by batteries charged through solar panels that can fold up to the size of a briefcase. The units can also power cell and satellite phones.

"It's just out in the middle of nowhere," said Don Burns. "In the jungle or the desert, or in this case where this is going to be in the Philippines, where there is no communication, ground communication, they can use satellite communication."

It typically takes the company about 45 days to build one of the units, but because of the demand for them, and the extreme need in the Philippines, they are trying to speed up the manufacturing process.

The purifiers being shipped out to U.S. Military in the Philippines cost about $89,000 each.

WorldWater and Solar employees know they work for a business, but take pride in the fact the equipment they make can save lives.

"You get a satisfaction when you help people in other countries, especially with the Philippines and the flooding. When you go to another country and you see people who have to walk miles for water, it's a humbling thing," said Jason Ispanky.

More purifiers will be shipped out as soon as they are available.

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