Grupo EOZ (EOZ) has developed a technological innovation named UV Tap. The UV Tap is a water faucet with integrated UV disinfection. It uses a 3W ultraviolet bulb which turns on automatically every time the handle is actuated by the user to dispense water. Lab results on the UV Tap show an efficiency of 99.997% in removal of fecal bacteria. The UV Tap is extremely flexible since it can be adapted to almost any water container and, given its low cost, is well positioned to provide a solution to the million Mexicans that lack access to clean water and are thus affected by water born diseases.
The lack of clean water in Mexico is a pressing problem. Even though access to clean sources of water — both in urban and rural areas — has steadily increased in Mexico, data shows that on 2010 9% of the rural population and 3% of the urban population still lacked access to clean water (in comparison with 2% and 0.11% respectively observed in high income countries). These numbers translate in 2.6 million Mexicans in urban areas without clean water, and 2.2 million Mexicans in rural areas without clean water. Consequences of lack of clean water are severe and can cause serious health problems such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, infections from rotavirus, and blindness from trachoma infections (Chiapas). These effects can be even more pronounced in children.
Additionally, EOZ observed in Mexico that 23% of urban water dispensers have bacteria and that the origin of the contamination is not the purified water itself but rather the type of transport of the jugs, unclean hands when handling jugs, and/or insufficient cleaning of the interior of the dispenser. This situation considerably increases the number of people in risk of contracting water borne diseases.
As shown in the map above, EOZ addresses both the rural and urban sectors of the population. Distribution of water purifiers in rural areas is made through local community networks at heavily discounted prices.
100% Clean Water for Mexico
EOZ launched the ambitious campaign “100% Clean Water for Mexico” proposing providing clean water and improving the health of one million families in Mexico in the next five years. As part of this objective, EOZ plans to increase the distribution of the filters in the states of Veracruz and Puebla, and is already planning the development of a new urban product by 2013.
Furthermore, the benefits of the project can be extended beyond Mexico since one of the characteristics of the project is that it is easily scalable, both nationally and internationally, since the UV Tap is simple to use, provides instant disinfection at a low cost, has a compact size, and addresses a universal problem, especially in developing countries: the lack of clean water. EOZ has already received requests to expand the project in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Venezuela.