UNBC research finds new way to bring clean water to developing countries

By Ryan Cavani
April 15, 2019 - 2:47pm Updated: April 15, 2019 - 6:22pm

PRINCE GEORGE - Contaminated water is an issue that affects large parts of the developing world on a daily basis and reports by the World Health Organization indicate that by 2020 50 percent of the world's population will be drinking contaminated water. UNBC researchers are hoping to change that with a new water purification product they have developed.

Water is one of the most important resources in the world and developing countries can struggle with access to clean water, as reserves are often contaminated with bacteria. UNBC researchers were able to develop a new way to clean water. The method, using zeolites to remove bacteria from the water.

In layman's terms, zeolites are a specific type of mineral and thanks to their porous nature, they are able to be used to filter out harmful bacteria from water, making it safe to consume. UNBC's research has focused on using locally found zeolite's in the process of cleaning water.


The zeolites go through a refining process where the chemical makeup of the minerals will be altered. Once altered, the zeolite is ready to be placed in a filtration unit. UNBC's research so far has shown that the zeolite filters remove 100 percent of the bacterial contaminants such as E. coli. The team is now testing the filters on other bacterias. 

UNBC researchers have also created a water testing program that is available to the public. The program is easy to use, all that needs to be done is collecting a sample of water and sending it to the UNBC lab for analysis. 

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