Book Turns Dirty Water into Drinking Water

October 20, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. filter /ˈfɪl tər/ (v.) – to remove unwanted items from something
Example: The water bottle can filter solid particles.

2. eliminate /ɪˈlɪm əˌneɪt/ (v.) – to get rid of something
Example: The soap claims to eliminate 99% of germs.

3. intent /ɪnˈtɛnt/ (n.) – the purpose of something
Example:  The study’s intent was to create a small item that cleans dirty water.

4. contaminated /kənˈtæm ə nɪt/ (adj.) – relating to something that is dirty and polluted
Example: The river near the factory is contaminated.

5. tumbler /ˈtʌm blər/ (n.) – an easy-to-carry container for liquids
Example: I bring my tumbler to the gym all the time.


Read the text below.
A researcher has created a “drinkable book” designed to filter dirty water and turn it into drinking water.

Theresa Dankovich, a researcher from Carnegie [kahr-NEY-gee] Mellon University and the creator of the book, shared that the original intent for the product was to help the environment. However, it has grown to help people who have no access to clean water.

The book contains tips for keeping water clean and is printed using food-grade ink. Each page is coated with silver nanoparticles. These nanoparticles eliminate bacteria that can cause diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis. According to the researchers, the pages act as a water filter. Each page can provide clean water for as much as 30 days, while the entire book can do so for up to four years.

To test the book’s effectiveness, the researchers used water that they contaminated in their lab. In the second part of their experiment, they used “real” water taken from different sources in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Bangladesh, and Haiti [HEY-tee]. Findings from the book’s first test run showed that it removed 99% of bacteria in the water.

The first step in using the book is to tear off a page, then place it inside its holder. After that, the contaminated water is poured inside the holder. The water that comes out of the holder will be safe for drinking.

Currently, the book is still in its testing stages. However, there is a similar product that is already for sale. One of which is ZeroWater’s tumbler with a built-in filter. Through the filter, the water goes through five stages of water filtration that can remove impurities like mercury, lead, and aluminum.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think are some possible disadvantages of this product?
·         If you could, what would you change about this product? Why?

Discussion B

·         Will this kind of product sell in your country? Why or why not?
·         If you could create another function for a book, what would it be and why?

October 20, 2015