Friday, February 10, 2012

Modern day snake oil

Look here, someone has solved our drinking water problem! But guess what -- it's not cheap. And its probably not necessary, at least the way this guy envisions it.
Hill Country inventor Terry LeBleu has invented a machine that turns thin air into clean, pure drinking water.

Terry says all the parts to his invention are readily available stock items and he is willing to show you exactly how you can build one yourself.

The heart of his invention is Sears Kenmore 70-pint dehumidifier.

Condensed water is further purified and sterilized with filters and ultraviolet light.

It takes about three days to make 40 gallons of ultra-pure water that are stored in a food-grade plastic barrel.

The parts to the machine cost around $700 but he can sell you his pre-made Big Dipper for $800.
(from KSAT-12)

I will admit, right out of the gate, that I am no scientist. And I'm certainly not a hydrologist. But -- now, correct me if I'm wrong -- I seem to remember that distilled water is pure water, and distillation relies on condensation. So, wouldn't anything that is condensed out of the air already be pure water? Why the need for the filters and the ultraviolet light to further purify and sterilize, unless merely to add cost? (Remember! The fully assembled Big Dipper only costs $800!) Seems to me like a plain ole Sears Kenmore 70-pint dehumidifier is all you really need, right?

Well, that and some humid air.

And what the hell does "ultra-pure" mean anyway?


Sabra said...

I have always been under the impression that drinking distilled water is actually a darned good way to get the runs. Now that I Google it, of course, I can't find anything to back it up.

Dave said...

I wonder how much water you could collect from an air conditioner unit and just toss in a few of those tablets they sell at camping stores to make it potable?

I'm all for doing things to conserve water, but when it comes to drinking water, HEB has 36 count cases of Hill Country Fair Spring Water for $2.48.

If I could get a magic machine that would supply enough to let me water my yard, do laundry and take showers, I might be interested. Until then, I'll stick with the water co-op I'm in.

WV: wasted

Keith Alan K said...

When we had a dehumidifier I remember the water in the tank getting really gross from sitting out for days. Unless you clean it religiously, this is probably the reason for the added purification steps.

mick said...

@Sabra, distillation removes the minerals in the water, like Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium. Montezuma's revenge is too much Magnesium in the water. So I don't think it's likely to give you the runs. If you're used to more minerals, it might make you constipated... Wikipedia claims that these minerals can reduce some types of heart disease.

@Keith- beat me to it. Some bacteria or somesuch might grow in the moist parts of device.

It looks like this guy was genuinely trying to be helpful, but is completely out of touch with the people who don't have access to clean water. Perhaps he'll make a buck of people living off-the-grid, stocking their shelters for when HEB isn't available.