Next-gen clean water filter finally compact enough for the home

As William Gibson so famously said, “the future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” That’s been the case with reverse osmosis water treatment machines for a while now, where the technology has existed, but was rarely compact or efficient enough for home use. Not any more though, as WaterO has fixed most of the technology’s problems, to make it viable for all.

Related: See here for the latest water cooler & filters on the market

The WaterO filter operates by pushing water through a number of filters, fitted with membranes that block harmful particles and other adulterants like salt and lead, removing them from the water. Where WaterO is different is that it manages to do this multiple-level filtering in a machine the size of a bread maker.

It also improves the efficiency of the procedure, by extracting water that cannot be as effectively filtered and offering it in a separate output for watering plants or other tasks that don’t require such stringently cleaned water.

To prove the effectiveness of its system, the developers of WaterO took it to the recent Disrupt expo, where it was able to clean lead-tainted water and sea water live in front of an audience, before presenting the water to awaiting judges, who claimed that it tasted fine (as per TechCrunch).

While the developers have admitted that the machine needs to do a better job of providing data on contaminated water and how clean it is after treatment, the machine does track total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water. In one example, it took tap water with a 180 TDS rating down to just five after filtering.

As that improves however, the developers believe WaterO could even give warnings to local authorities about water contamination. If a number of machines within a local community all suddenly saw spikes in the TDS levels, it would be worth investigating to see whether something was causing it.

That could even end up being reported automatically, as WaterO utilizes smart features and tracking to let users know when the on-board filters need replacing and can even give them data on how much water they are drinking per day.

As a charitable gesture and as an initiative to prove the effectiveness of its system, WaterO’s developers recently sent 5,000 units to Flint, Michigan, to help combat that city’s ongoing water contamination problem and provide some measure of peace of mind for its residents.

If you would like a WaterO unit yourself, they begin shipping to Indiegogo backers next month and will go on sale to the public at $300 each shortly after.