More on SODIS (Solar Disinfection [of water]) – another innovation?

PET AidPod on roof
The concept: PET AidPods on a tin roof

SODIS Pictograms
Image source: Wikipedia

We’ve had a great response to the idea that the ColaLife AidPods might be made of PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) and used to disinfect the water mothers need to make up oral rehydration solution. Dr Kevin G McGuigan, Coordinator EU SODISWATER Project, Dublin University, who has been working for 18 years on SODIS-related projects said:

It was a pleasure talking to you [Jane] this morning. I’ve looked at the information that you have forwarded and think that your ColaLife container would be suitable for solar disinfection of water for drinking or ORS purposes. You would have to redesign the lid to make it water tight but apart from that it looks like an appropriate solution to a global problem.

Dr Wayne Heaselgrave, of Leicester University, a microbiologist working with Dr McGuigan on the same SODISWATER project has as also offered to test the efficacy of PET AidPods (when we have them). Leicester – just down the road from ColaLife HQ, has an African Sun Simulator. He said:

I agree that there could also be potential for this product to be subsequently used for SODIS if the design can be altered so that the product is made from PET and is watertight. In the future if you were to come up with a prototype then we could look at working together to evaluate the antimicrobial efficacy of the product in the laboratory using simulated sunlight prior to its introduction into field situations.

Obviously a single 500ml AidPod is not going to solve a family’s need for clean water. But it will add value to the New Mother’s Kit – and be a mechanism for getting the SODIS method more widely known. We have been struggling for a while now on the secondary uses the AidPod packaging might have and I think we have now found one. We’re feeling ready for a design competition. Would anybody be interested in this?

SODIS is now backed by WHO and used in parts of at least 33 countries. Below is a video on SODIS from the Keeper Zambia Foundation.

This is a CNN video report. The most amazing bit is towards the end (2m:40s in) when the scientist shows the results of testing for E. coli. The first Petri dish with water from a a standing source (big puddle) had levels of E. coli TNC (too numerous to count). The second, from the communal tank was infected to some extent while the SODIS water was completely clear.

There are more videos on SODIS here.


  1. More on SODIS (Solar Disinfection [of water]) – another innovation?: The concept: PET AidPods on a tin roo… #charity

  2. […] (KZF). KZF have been pioneering the work on SODIS here in Zambia and I featured a video of theirs in a previous post. It turns out that John knows 3 people who were on the same team as me when Jane and I lived and […]

  3. […] how the AidPod/Mothers’ Kit might be packaged in PET and used to sterilise the water (there is more about this here). So, if we’ve achieved nothing else, we have spread the SODIS message around amongst some […]

  4. […] continue to search for a practical SODIS solution that will work with an AidPod Mother’s Kit. In a previous post I talked about making the AidPod itself out of PET so that it could be used as a measuring jug and […]