2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 3 Dec 2002 18:29:07 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Albany company puts safe water in the bag
Please note that the following technology was developed for the U.S. military

Albany company puts safe water in the bag
Robert Goldfield   Business Journal Staff Writer

"Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink."

Like Coleridge's ancient, thirsty mariner, many people know the despair that comes from the lack of drinking water. In fact, some 1.2 billion people worldwide regularly go without safe water, according to the World Health Organization. And where populations have access to safe water, the supply can be threatened by natural disasters, or, of more recent concern to Americans, terrorism and sabotage.

Enter Hydration Technologies, a start-up in Albany that has developed a practical, inexpensive means of removing bacteria, viruses and other contaminants from fresh water to yield a safe liquid for drinking. During the past two years Hydration has engineered two inexpensive products that employ the principle of osmosis to send contaminated water flowing through filtering membranes. One product is a 2-liter bag called the Hydropack and designed for one-time use. Once placed in a contaminated body of water, the bag fills with filtered fluid in four to six hours. The other product is a cartridge, called Hydroflow, that produces a continuous flow of filtered liquid at the rate of 1 liter per hour.

When disaster wipes out or contaminates a major water supply, "it's impossible logistically to haul enough water in," said Hydration's president, Bob Salter. "You can't get enough water in and you can't get the people out [by evacuation] either. So you need something to use on the dirty water: We have the low-cost solution."

Salter boldly speaks of exceeding $100 million in sales in five years or sooner: "The problem is production capability, not sales capability."

Research and development began a couple of years ago, when the U.S. Department of Defense approached predecessor company Osmotek and asked it to create a product, based on osmosis, that soldiers could easily carry to provide themselves with safe drinking water.

Osmotek delivered the goods, and spun off the technology and the products to Hydration Technologies, a new company with the same ownership of about 20 individuals, mostly Oregonians. Hydration Technologies views the products as useful for several markets: civil or homeland defense, disaster relief, military use and outdoor recreation.

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