It’s really a universal solution for the military, humanitarian, and outdoors market – Watersheer CEO Yossi Sandak
Sulis was a Greek goddess connected with water and healing, therefore it’s also become an appropriate moniker for an innovative new Israeli device which instantly purifies contaminated water.
The Sulis Personal Purification System (PPS) takes all the ingredients needed to transform dirty water into clean water – whether it be for stranded hikers, soldiers in the field, or victims of disasters – and has miniaturized the technology to fit into the top of a cork that can be plugged into virtually any size bottle, container or tap.
“Above everything else, the product we’ve developed is going to save lives,” explained Yossi Sandak, the CEO of Watersheer, the Israeli company which has developed the Sulis PPS. “Over 1.6 million children under the age of five die each year in the undeveloped world from drinking untreated water. What we have is a solution to reduce death in the world that is not a medical solution, but simply providing people with clean drinking water.”
The Sulis unit is lightweight and small (10 grams, 2.7 Inches / 7 cm) and is designed to fit onto most universal bottles. According to Sandak’s partner, Ron Shani, the founder, chairman and vice president of Watersheer’s R&D division, the Sulis system treats water from upper sources containing organic, biological and chemical contaminates.
“The problem is that there aren’t enough products in the humanitarian field that are inexpensive enough and efficient enough to solve the problems of contaminated water – from a biological and chemical standpoint,” Shani told ISRAEL21c.
The 39-year-old engineer spent 12 years in public organizations and international companies in the field of business development, and building marketing and sales systems, but five years ago decided to leave the high tech world behind in order to “look for the next big thing.” He says it was only natural that he gravitated towards the subject of water.
“I was raised around water and water technology. For 40 years my father developed water technologies and infrastructure so I’m no stranger to the field,” he said.
Delving into the fields of water technology and survival, Shani recounted how he conducted extensive research for three months around the concept of survival and what was available to people in need of fresh water. Focusing in on the need for something like the Sulis system, Shani spent the next year and a half developing the prototype.
“The idea was to create a very simple device,” he said. “There are many players in the survival market, but they have solutions which are complicated and expensive. They’ll do the job but you need a lot of sequences.
“With Sulis, it’s simple, quick, and you don’t need any additional energy source. And anybody can do it. In a minute, you go from undrinkable water to pure drinking water. And for someone in a life threatening situation, that time is crucial.”
Sandak, a former lieutenant-colonel in the Israeli Air Force, added that another improvement on existing purification systems is the taste of the water produced.
“In a survival situation, you need to be drinking a lot of water – the problem is that with other systems, the process creates water that tastes awful, so you end up drinking the minimum. With Sulis, you can drink freely and the taste, if I must say so, is excellent,” he told ISRAEL21c.
With a staff of five employees at the Airport City office near Tel Aviv, Shani and Sandak built the Sulis prototype, and they’ve since tested it with various target groups ranging from soldiers in the Israeli army to mountain climbers and hikers. The uniform response has been one of widespread enthusiasm, they report.
“It’s really a universal solution for the military, humanitarian, and outdoors market,” said Sandak. “We now have an alpha version, and we expect to begin mass producing the Sulis in June. For military or government use, the system will need to be brought back to the lab for testing and approval, but for travelers, it will be available on the market.”
Sandak added that the company is looking for investors in order to open a production plant in Sderot once orders start pouring in. While they don’t affix an actual price to the system, Shani and Sandak say that the Sulis will cost no more “than a large coffee and cake at Starbucks.” Considering one Sulis cork can purify 1,000 liters of water before being replaced, that’s quite a bargain.
One side effect to the testing carried out on the Sulis was to alert Shani and Sandak to another need in the water industry – which has led them to develop another product – the Sokol system.
“Sokol is a sweet water purification system for emergencies and crises which can purify water in a much bigger amount,” explained Shani. “In a situation like the New Orleans flood when the water was contaminated, water can be loaded in to the Sokol tank, it goes through the Sulis process and within a half hour, you have 100 liters of fresh drinking water.”
Geared towards serving hospitals, and federal and private institutes, the Sokol system is designed to do for the mass population what the Sulis system does for the individual.
“We think that Watersheer has developed next generation products,” said Sandak. “It’s really a universal solution to the problem of contaminated drinking water.”