Tap water is safe in most (though not all) US cities, though if you want the peace of mind that filtered water brings, this bottle can test for contamination and purify your water on the go.
The Ecomo bottle has a built-in water quality tester that can detect pollutants, including pesticides, dissolved minerals, petroleum products, and heavy metals like lead and mercury. To use the device, you shake the bottle to send water into the tester; the system is connected to an app on your phone, and sends test results via Bluetooth.
From there, you can read the water temperature and track the impurities in your water. The app will then give your water a quality rating out of 10.
The device cleans the water through a three-layered filter, which looks like a net inside the bottle. One layer of the filter is made of activated charcoal, which removes chlorine, pesticides, and petroleum — the things that can add a “chemical” smell or taste to the water. The second layer is made of an ion-exchange fibre that removes heavy metals, and the third — a nanofiber membrane — catches bacteria and microscopic protozoa that can cause stomach cramps and nausea.
To purify water, you fill the bottle and twist a wheel on the bottom to move the filter through the water. After that, the rating will change to reflect how well the water has been filtered.
The bottle could come in handy if you’re on a hike and need to filter river water, or if you have a feeling your pipes need cleaning and want to make sure the tap water’s potable. More importantly, it could also help those in water crises like the one in Flint find out whether their water contains lead.
The Ecomo has three parts. The first is the water-holding reservoir itself, which contains the net-like filter. A second layer below that is a removable, wearable device that’s built into the bottle. It has a screen that can remind you to drink enough water (a feature that’s been in more than a few smart bottles thus far). The third layer contains the quality monitor and the filter wheel, which also features an indicator that tracks the lifespan of your filter.
A Kickstarter fundraising campaign for the Ecomo is expected to launch October 5. The bottles will start at $129 each for early bird backers, and are expected to ship in March 2017.
For city dwellers who are confident in the quality of their water, the product might be a bit overkill — there are already Brita filter water bottles on the market, and many tiny particulates in your drinking water are actually safe.
But if you’re worried about the purity of your water supply, you might appreciate the ability to make sure what you’re drinking is safe.