Monday, March 28, 2011

A Life Saver from Blacksburg's Portaqua

This is one of Portaqua's vehicles.^

Portaqua, which is in the VT KnowledgeWorks center in Blacksburg, has manufactured a truck that will be used by the FEMSA Foundation in its effort to provide clean, safe drinking water to populations impacted by natural disasters.

The vehicle provides advanced water purification system capable of supplying safe drinking water from many sources, including brackish water (sea water/fresh mix), surface water that may be contaminated with hydrocarbon and herbicides, and water containing high levels of solids.

The system provides on-board water distribution to provide the water purified by the system to individuals affected by a disaster. Not only can the vehicle bottle the water in traditional five gallon containers, but also in Portaqua’s water storage device. The system stores flat like a zip bag but, when filled with water, becomes a transportable, sanitary water bucket.

In addition to safe, clean water the system provides ice that is bagged on board for distribution to the affected community. In addition to supplying purified drinking water and ice, the vehicle provides a range of support to a community including housing for personnel responding to the relief effort and support for emergency facilities such as hospitals and medical services.

The system includes a complete laboratory area for testing and monitoring water quality. For support personnel, the system includes an air-conditioned living area, including a bedroom for four persons, kitchen, and bathroom including a shower.

By providing a complete living area, a laboratory and production facilities, the vehicle enables personnel operating the plant to perform their jobs at the highest level. Portaqua sells packaged purification systems for small communities in rural underserved regions and highly mobile emergency water purification plants for use in response to natural disasters. It has a manufacturing plant in Mexico.

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