Skip to content

Bill Gates drinks Poo Water

Credit where it’s due: I didn’t develop the information I’m sharing — but it’s too good to merely retweet or “like.” My enthusiasm stems from one of the world’s most famous, influential, and capable people getting fully behind sustainable wastewater treatment and direct potable reuse, bringing widespread attention to typically underappreciated water issues.

That person is Bill Gates, most notably the multi-billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, but also (more to the point for this story) co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to combat extreme poverty. Much of the Foundation’s recent focus has been on clean water availability and sanitation, but has only tangentially related to what we report at Water Online … until now.

Through social media I was tipped off to the excellent Wired article about the OmniProcessor from Janicki Bioenergy. The system, supported and coming into prominence through Gates’ efforts, converts sewage sludge into energy and drinking water at low cost ($1.5 million per plant, serving ~100,000 people). This YouTube video lays out the process nicely:

Gates was on-site to sample the water straight from the machine, as shown in the video and related in Gates’ own blog, The Gates Notes. According to Peter Janicki, inventor of the OmniProcessor, the end product compares favorably to the store-bought bottled water he tested it against. “Our water meets or exceeds the standards of every one of those,” quotes Wired.

Furthermore, the sludge creates enough energy to power the system, and even to sell electricity back to the grid. The operator can also get paid for accepting the raw sludge, then paid again for selling the processed sludge (aka biosolids) as a fertilizer.

While the OmniProcessor is hoped to resolve issues in the world’s most water-challenged and poor regions — in India and Africa, for example — it sounds a lot like the “Utility of the Future” endorsed by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) here in the U.S.

Bill Gates’ involvement has inspired scads of mainstream media coverage and thousands of “shares” on social media from those both in and outside the water/wastewater industry.  I’m swept up in the sharing as well — the enthusiasm is well-deserved.

To learn more about:



Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.


On Key

Related Posts

PFAs in your water? Do you know?

PFAs in your water? Do you know?

In the last half decade, the ’new’ toxin known as PFAS is in our sights. It’s in the public domain, having been hunted out of corporate secret cellars. And it’s one more growing concern with our drinking water.. but that’s not the only place you’ll find it.

Water Ionizer.. or Hydrogen tablet?

Water Ionizer.. or Hydrogen tablet?

We were lucky enough to be right there with the first ever hydrogen tablets some five years ago. Now we’re still way out front with our high yield hydrogen tablets.

Dr Susan Brown: our first choice in alkaline diet advisors.

Dr Susan Brown: our first choice in alkaline diet advisors.

Alkaline diet is a very simple approach to improving the health of your bones that practitioners here in the US have overlooked for almost a century now. It’s available to anyone, it’s natural, it’s not terribly expensive — and you don’t even need health insurance to use it.