LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville-based WaterStep is continuing to provide its patented BleachMaker to local organizations to help combat the spread of COVID-19. In the past two weeks, numerous social services agencies and homeless shelters including Wayside Christian Mission, The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, The St. John Center for Homeless Men, both locations of The Healing Place, Boys & Girls Haven, Maryhurst, Catalyst Rescue Mission, Portland Promise (for Love City), Family Community Clinic, Basilica in Bardstown/Bread for Life, Sister Visitor Centers, the Tri-County Community Action Agency, and the Franciscan Kitchen have all been provided with a BleachMaker.
WaterStep has been receiving unprecedented requests from governments, nonprofit organizations, hospitals and emergency providers around the world for its award-winning BleachMaker in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tool is also being used by WaterStep’s partners in Costa Rica, Malawi, Kenya, DR Congo, Liberia and Uganda to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
The award-winning portable BleachMaker was created to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It is a handheld device that produces disinfectant strong enough to meet the world health organization’s standards, and it can be used to sanitize hospitals and medical clinics, kitchens and cooking surfaces, clothing. The device is powered by water, table salt and an electric source, and can generate one gallon of concentrated bleach in an hour. WaterStep’s portable BleachMaker won the Environmental Protection’s Award for New Product of the Year in 2016.
“In 2019 alone, more than 100 doctors used WaterStep’s BleachMaker to significantly help reduce further infection of the Ebola virus in The DRC,” says Dr. J.J. Muyembe, National Institute for Biomedical Research, Minister of Health, The Democratic Republic of Congo.
WaterStep has responded to 15 different natural disasters since 2009. These include the earthquake in Costa Rica in 2009, the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the flooding in Pakistan in 2010 and 2011, the typhoon in the Philippines in 2013, the typhoon in India in 2013, the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, the earthquake in Ecuador in 2016, the landslide in Colombia in 2017, the hurricane in Puerto Rico in 2017, the volcano in Guatemala in 2018, Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas in 2018, the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019, the flooding in Malawi in 2019, and the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
The BleachMaker was designed by a group of engineers from the University of Louisville, the Louisville Water Company and General Electric’s FirstBuild Innovation Center who worked with WaterStep to develop the powerful disinfectant tool. It was funded by the Louisville Water Foundation, UPS and GE.