By: Lynette Carrington
Once again, Arizona is at the forefront of innovation. Jared Schoepf recently graduated from ASU with a degree in Chemical Engineering and is currently pursuing his PhD at the university. SafeSIPP was a project born out of a class at ASU that Schoepf enrolled in as a freshman.
“Initially, I started by joining a class called EPACS (Engineering Projects and Community Service). It’s a project-oriented class where you join and the professor has between 10 and 15 projects and you join up in two teams and you begin pursuing that real world problem,” said Schoepf.
SafeSIPP was originally founded by Jared Schoepf, Taylor Barker (still with team) and Lindsay Fleming and Jacob Arrendondo, who have both since moved on to other things. The initial catalyst for SafeSIPP came from Fleming’s cousin who had been in South Africa and realized how bad the issues were with residents trying to obtain clean water and called Fleming to help solve the problem.
SafeSIPP addresses the desperate need of third world countries needing clean drinking water. The SafeSIPP invention addresses the three key challenges that are faced everyday by those needing clean water: transportation, purification and storage of the water.
In developing countries, often the women and children must fetch water from unclean sources. They have to balance more than 50 pounds on their heads to get the water back to their village. The lengthy and constant transportation method can cause injuries. SafeSIPP is a large-handled barrel that purifies water as it is being rolled along the ground and it can hold more volume than a bucket carried on someone’s head. The easy, rolling motion also allows the transportation process to move much more quickly and handle a larger volume of water. Once back at the village or home, the SafeSIPP acts as a storage unit.
SafeSIPP has integrated a three-phase water purification system into a barrel that activates as the barrel rolls across the ground. Unlike others systems on the market that only transport or purify water, SafeSIPP adds value by both transporting and purifying large amounts of contaminated water. The purification system itself is proprietary. But, Schoepf explained, “It does remove large debris (dirt and sediment) as well as bacteria, viruses and parasites.” They are still in the process of additional testing to see how long the SafeSIPP will work with continual use and they are aiming for a one year life-span for the purification portion of the device.
“We just moved into the MAC 6 Incubator Manufacturing Facility,” said Schoepf. The group was even awarded a grant through the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative. The initiative collaborated with MAC 6 to get physical space for SafeSIPP activities. “Now we’re moved into the space and we’re doing some R&D and making sure it works the way we want to.” They are looking at initiating sales in January or February and hopefully pairing with non-profits and other organizations that will then provide SafeSIPPs to those that need them most.
For the unique idea and innovation, Jared Schoepf was chosen by “Entrepreneur Magazine” as one of five finalists in the college division for the “Entrepreneur of 2013”, with results being named in late December. “In five years, we hope to be producing 5,000 of these systems to help make an impact in developing countries that really need clean drinking water,” Schoepf finished. For additional information, visit www.SafeSIPP.org.