A local company has a fascinating plan for capturing bike pedal power to purify water.
"It's proven technology. We know it works," said Amy Doering Smith, the CEO of Safi Water Works.
The Portland startup has created a bicycle aimed at helping the 600 million people in the world who don't have access to clean drinking water.
"We want to reduce the number of people who die from water related illnesses – more than 3 million people die every year," Doering Smith explained.
The bike delivers pedal power to a battery which fuels an ultraviolet bulb.
"Exposure to the bulb purifies and disinfects the water," said the CEO, "UV is used on a much larger scale for water systems in New York and Seattle."
The Safi Water Works business plan puts the bikes in urban areas of the world where people go to community watering centers and then have to boil the water.
"The boiling take so much time, they boil in the morning and at night just to keep up a supply."
With the Safi Water Works bike, 20 liters of water can be purified in just a few minutes.
"I pedal in heels. Others can do it barefoot and even kids can produce enough power," demonstrated Doering Smith, "it's pretty easy."
The start up is in a fundraising campaign and hopes to come up with at least $25,000.
That amount would allow the nonprofit to bring the bike to an urban area in East Africa to really put the pedal power to the test.
"If you're going to impact change you have to come up with simple solutions and that's what we're trying to do," concluded Doering Smith.