Safe drinking water is a universal need. We can only live a few days without it.
This could partly explain why a recent TikTok video gained attention for using solar water purification to take murky lake slop and convert it into a clear fluid that the poster was willing to drink on camera.
The video opens with a representative (who identifies as “Joe” in another video) holding up a kit about the size of a toaster and announcing: “Today, we’ll be putting this solar water purifier to the test.”
The camera zooms out to show a muddy brown lake that provides the test’s source water.
@acorn_land_labs Solar tech is incredible! 💧 ☀️ #sustainability #sustainable #solar #purify #cleanwater #water #purifywater #acornlandlabs ♬ original sound – Acorn Land Labs
The TikToker proceeds to expand a collapsible “sink” from the kit on a dock by the water. Then, an intake hose goes into the lake, a battery plugs into the solar panels, and the device starts charging.
After half a minute, Joe presses a button and pulls out a pouch to collect the pumped product: “crystal clear” water, as the presenter describes.
“I was really surprised,” says the TikToker after sampling the result. “It tasted like … nothing, which is exactly what you want when it comes to water.”
The video does not say which product it shows, but as of late August the Acorn Land Labs Links page on the group’s website connected to Portable Solar Water Purification Systems sold by the company GoSun.
The kit from the video appears to be the GoSun Flow Solar Water Purifier + Pump, which its maker advertised in August for $129 (normally $249) and described as a 2.75-pound, “self-enclosed” water-purifying kit.
Assuming this purifier works as well as the video suggests — at removing not only mud, but also microorganisms that make water unsafe — it targets a need for safe drinking water that is becoming more important as the world warms because of heat-trapping pollution released by humans.
“About two billion people worldwide don’t have access to safe drinking water today,” the United Nations has reported. It cited the World Health Organization as predicting this number will increase as the world’s climate continues to shift.
The WHO lists many benefits of supplying water free from disease — which might be aided by effective, portable, off-grid purification.
Commenters on the video expressed interest, along with wariness, about the device.
“I’m looking forward to people testing this thoroughly,” said one.
“I think I’d still boil [the water] after filtering it, just to be on the safe side,” said another.
Still, several commenters asked for the product’s name, and at least one indicated wonder at the result, considering the cloudy input.
“That’s not even water,” the commenter joked about the source liquid. “That’s chocolate milk.”
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