Of those 844 million, 159 million people depend on untreated water, such as rivers, lakes, ponds, streams. For obvious reasons, it is essential for them to keep rivers and other water sources clean, since they don't have other spaces to wash their things, draw water and take a bath.
In Peru and different parts of the world, there is still the habit of washing clothes in rivers. This tradition is part of the cultural heritage that we received from the Incas, several centuries ago.
Going out to wash the family's clothes on the banks of the rivers is also a moment of relaxation and socialization among the women of the villages. It is during these moments when they have the space to discuss intimate issues with each other and comment on personal or family situations.
Unfortunately, the bar soap they use to wash the clothes ends up spilling into the river and contaminating it. The biggest problem is that the rivers where they wash are their main source of life since they also extract the water to drink, wash their food, and it is also in the rivers where children play.
This causes the water they drink to be dirty, unconsciously causing various diseases or stomach infections.
Different communities and towns are distributed along the rivers. As everyone has this habit of washing clothes in the rivers, contamination is exponential because finally, it is the same water that flows with the river current. At ANDEA we asked ourselves: Why not use this widespread habit to our advantage? What if instead of polluting, they could help us systematically clean the rivers?
As the world and technological advances continue their course, 844 million people lack even a basic service of drinking water supply, according to the World Health Organization.
We only had to introduce a decontaminating element in the process of washing clothes in rivers. The bar soap was the perfect space. At ANDEA we realized that by intervening the soap bars we could turn this polluting ancestral custom into precisely the opposite: a systematic and autonomous decontamination network.
After a two-year investigation together with a great team of engineers, chemists and biologists (Cirsys), we found a unique microorganism capable of generating probiotics that feed on the pollutants of the river.
During the natural washing process, soap releases particles that fall into the water; in these cases, they fall into the river. Thanks to the formula of our soap, the falling particles adhere to the stones and algae, decontaminating the river even moments after washing.
We put these microorganisms in bars of laundry soap. We intervene in the soap formula to make it eco-friendly and so that the soap can properly hold our probiotics, without damaging them or reducing their effectiveness. After several tests, we were able to convert a common laundry soap into a product to decontaminate river water.