Campers take note: Johns Hopkins scientists have found an inexpensive and effective way to quickly improve the quality of drinking water – simply add a twist of lime and sunlight.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found the combination removed detectable levels of harmful bacteria such as E. coli as effectively as boiling water.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, might be useful to people in need of a quick and easy solution to improving water quality in remote areas or when treated water is unavailable.
"The preliminary results of this study show solar disinfection of water combined with citrus could be effective at greatly reducing E. coli levels in just 30 minutes, a treatment time on par with boiling and other household water treatment methods,” said lead researcher Kellogg Schwab. “In addition, the 30 milliliters of juice per 2 liters of water amounts to about one-half Persian lime per bottle, a quantity that will likely not be prohibitively expensive or create an unpleasant flavor."