Could this bicycle help save millions by giving them clean drinking water?

Japanese company's pedal powered pumb and filter can provide 6L of clean water a minute

by Simon_MacMichael   February 18, 2011  


CycloClean, a bicycle adapted with a pump and filtration system, is being deployed to help provide drinking water in places where it is needed through pedal power, with source water drawn from places such as rivers, ponds, swimming pools and even bathing water, providing the latter is free of bathtub agents.

Designed primarily for emergency use, with bicycles able to get to areas inaccessible to other vehicles, the filter system is attached to the rear rack, and comprises one pre-filter and three additional filters.

A user, powering the pump by turning the pedals, is able to produce six litres of drinking water a minute, which it says is three times the amount of drinking water that a person needs each day.

Made by Japanese company Nippon Basic, the bicycle costs ¥550,000, equivalent to a little more than £4,000. That may seem a hefty tag, but with the manufacturers citing a comment from Unicef that "1,900,000 children a year lose their life due to unclean water," its potential value is, quite literally, priceless.

4 user comments

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Something like this was on Dragons Den about a year ago - with some British Students - not a bike, but a push along barrel/ roller...
So this is Japanese Kaizen at its best...

... ... need more speed!

JC's picture

posted by JC [136 posts]
18th February 2011 - 11:59


Also look up Maya Pedals...

posted by horizontal dropout [203 posts]
18th February 2011 - 12:56

1 Like

There was a british invention a few years ago where a child's roundabout drew water from a well so the kids got to play and got fresh water. Obvious benefit here is portability and being able to literally roll up next to any water rather than have a permanent site

Shut up legs

slow-cyclo's picture

posted by slow-cyclo [74 posts]
18th February 2011 - 16:32


OK for reasonably developed countries but where is the source of fresh activated charcoal and how is the micro filter purged. Listen at me, Mr Grumpy. Just want to raise the issue that maybe things aren't as simple as a diagram like this illustrates. Unfortunately.

A great idea if the filtartion could be done with materials readily to hand at the site, such as sand for filtration, not sure how you'd do the same job as the charcoal. That's where the brains really need to be applied, a bicycle powered pump is the simple part.

Still a tool like this could have been useful in places hit by natural disaster where there is plentiful polluted water and a need to get it cleaned up.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [427 posts]
19th February 2011 - 12:44