"It tastes as good as anything I’ve drunk out of a bottle." Bill Gates
Renowned American Philanthropist William Henry 'Bill' Gates has taken a swig of a glass of water made from poop. The machine, built by Janicki Bioenergy, could overhaul sewage treatment and provide access to clean water in developing countries.
With a pilot program in Dakar, Senegal scheduled for later this year, Gates is likely to be one of many enjoying the benefits of this poo-fuelled process.
In his blog he explained: ‘I watched the piles of faeces go up the conveyor belt and drop into a large bin.
‘They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water.’
Despite initial concerns, he adds that he would ‘happily drink it every day.’
The machine is called the Omniprocessor and Gates hopes it will provide a safe alternative to waste being dumped in rivers and lakes.
‘If we get it right’, he said, ‘it will be a good example of how philanthropy can provide seed money that draws bright people to work on big problems, eventually creating a self-supporting industry.
‘[The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation] is funding Janicki to do the development.
‘It’s really amazing to see how they’ve embraced the work; founder Peter Janicki and his family have traveled to Africa and India multiple times so they can see the scope of the problem.’