When I was 17, I volunteered in Haiti for a week. I saw that chlorine tablets were available, but they weren’t stopping the spread of Cholera, a waterborne pathogen introduced after the 2010 earthquake. Families told me it was annoying and hard to use chlorine properly, and it tasted terrible. I went back home to the US feeling unsatisfied.
At 19, I spent a summer working on water resource management in rural Ghana. While there, I learned that it’s hard to avoid waterborne diseases, even when you know all the “traveler’s rules” and the microbiology behind it. I was hospitalized for giardiasis, quickly consuming 10 IV bags, but I went home healthy and curious about better solutions.
At 20 years old, I was testing the efficacy of ceramic filters in South Africa when I realized how rudimentary they are. They are easy to contaminate, sometimes pouring out water that’s more lethal than what came in. Ceramic filters don’t even remove waterborne viruses, and families often ignore the filters because they flow too slowly. Who wants a filter where you wait until the next day for a drink?
I went home and focused my senior engineering thesis project on making simpler tools for clean drinking water. I met Uriel Eisen through classes, and we started our design process. He builds it, I test and critique it, and we decide what to build differently next time.
At 21, Uriel and I founded Rorus to have an organization behind our work, making simpler and safer water solutions.
Now our full-time jobs are combining his user-centered design and prototyping skills with my research and field experience in water purification to create filters that solve all the major concerns. Filters need to provide comprehensive safety, immediacy, reliability, affordability, and great taste.
We pay attention to the real world concerns of our customers like rural shipping logistics and harsh conditions such as ever-pervasive dust and punishing UV rays. We make filters so simple that a five-year-old can use them every day.