Recently researchers in our department (Dr. Botes & Dr. de Kwaadsteniet) in conjunction with Prof. Cloete have developed a novel water filtration system. Combining years of research in food microbiology, water purification and nanotechnology they have developed a ‘teabag’ that is not only able to purify water but kill waterborne pathogens. The teabags contain nanofibers and activated carbon which filters out bacteria and kills them at the same time. The filters are able to fit in the cap of a bottle and provide a cheap method for purifying contaminated water. The filters are able to purify contaminated water for 3 cents/liter and produces clean water comparable to that of bottled water. This initiative coincides with the millennium project which aims to eradicate poverty in poor areas. The breakthrough coincided with the a major Stellenbosch University initiative called the Hope Project, which hopes to combine the scientific expertise of several departments to address the country’s most pressing needs. The need for clean drinkable water in developing countries is a major issue and this breakthrough might have the answer, providing a filtration system that can be used easily and at the source.

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