delware environmental institute

Water shield: UD engineer hopes to protect drinking water using raincoat fabric

Water shield:  UD engineer hopes to protect drinking water using raincoat fabric

Steve Dentel unfurls a large piece of muted green fabric resembling a tablecloth.

“You could use this to line your outhouse pit,” the University of Delaware professor of civil and environmental engineering announces.

This offbeat potential application is not the first that pops to mind.  But, in the developing world, it could be a potential lifesaver.

In countries where sanitation remains antiquated, for instance, a pit in the ground serving as a latrine, pathogens, germs and parasites from human waste easily make their ways into drinking water.

Dentel believes the fabric, a breathable textile that allows water vapor to escape through it, could be the answer.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation concurs.(full article)