Could Prickly Pear Cactus Be The Secret to Cheap, Clean Water?

Millions of people lack access to clean water globally, and that lack of access – or rather, access to unsafe drinking water – kills as many as 15 people per minute. We have many options for filtering water, but a primary problem with clean water technologies is they’re expensive and not simple to maintain once placed where they’re needed. Yet, that could change. By using a cactus found commonly worldwide, a team of researchers have devised what could be a solution for access to clean water.

According to New Scientist, the prickly pear cactus could be key to cheap, clean water globally – or at least that’s the hope of Norma Alcantar at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She and her team extracted the gum used by the cactus to store water. When mixed with water that had high levels of sediment or the bacterium Bacillus cereus, the gum caused the sediment and bacteria to settle at the bottom of water samples, filtering out 98% of the contaminants.

WATCH VIDEO: Invention Nation: Natural Water Treatment – One company has found a way to clean water in a toxin-free natural sewage treatment facility with exotic plants.

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