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Disaster Relief Shouldn't Be a Disaster Itself

by Mark Timmons September 24, 2019 2 Comments

Whenever a natural disaster strikes, it's human nature that we want to help, whether it be an earthquake, fire, tornado or hurricane. So, as in the case of the devastating Hurricane Dorian that recently decimated the Bahamas, many non-profits, churches, and NGO's are quick to help and one of the first things they do is send about a hundred trillion plastic bottles of water to the people who need help. They have the best of intentions...

However, as soon as a person drinks the water, what happens to the bottle? It gets thrown away... and the fact is, many end up in our oceans. It is reported that 1,500 plastic water bottles are used every second right here in the United States.

That's 90,000 bottles an hour and 2.16 million bottles a day or .78 billion bottles a year. That doesn't include other drinks, cosmetics, detergents, etc. .. and the disaster part is that much of it ends up in the ocean. Currently, it is estimated that in the world's oceans fish outnumber plastic particles by 5:1 (by weight) and that by 2050 plastic particles will outnumber fish.

A few years ago, a documentary was made called "A Plastic Ocean." Explorers Craig Leeson and Tanya Streeter and a team of international scientists revealed the causes and consequences of plastic pollution and shared solutions. Here's a trailer to the documentary which is more relevant now than it was 3 years ago:

Now, I am not trying to discourage anyone from helping people in times of disaster. They certainly need help and they most certainly need water. Water is life and frequently when there is a natural disaster, the water is contaminated or there is no water. People need clean, freshwater. That's a given! All I am saying is let's not create... or maybe the word is continue, to contribute to another type of natural disaster: adding tons and tons of plastics back to our environment.

We are now finding microplastics in our food, and sea plankton now contains plastics. Plastics are clogging our oceans, waterways, and ecosystems. We cannot just continue to consume plastics with impunity... even in natural disasters. There is a better way. That way involves producing water at the point where it is needed such as with a system similar to the US Water Systems Patriot skid-mounted, turnkey plug n play system, like pictured below:

This type of skid can make up to 20,000 gallons of water a day. The one pictured above is an 8,000 gallon per day system, that includes sediment filtration, carbon filtration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet disinfection. Just add a tank and it is easy to dispense water into non-plastic containers made of glass or stainless steel that can be used for years.

It's a small footprint and in the area that it takes to ship a few thousand bottles of water, you can ship a machine that can make hundreds of thousands of bottles of water... without creating another disaster with plastic contamination. Let's do the responsible thing when it comes to disaster relief. Won't you join us?

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September 27, 2019 Rich Lowry

I am trying help a village in Tanzania that has bore well but the water is contaminated with fluoride. They have no electrical power. Can US Water provide a system that would help?

September 30, 2019 Mark Timmons

Yes. Please contact us at

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