Far too many people do not have adequate access to bottled or otherwise sanitized drinking water. This results in disease and many other problems, and though efforts to eliminate the issue have been around for a long time, effective solutions are still lacking. Enter the Omniprocessor, a somewhat large contraption that uses different processes to convert “sludge” (sewage water) into purified drinking water; at the same time, the machine burns up the waste, eliminating it from the environment and likewise any diseases it would bring about.
If you’re familiar with the Omniprocessor, it’s likely because Bill Gates recently caught the public’s attention by drinking a glass of water produced by it — water that was, initially, filled with waste and all manner of filth. The water, of course, is clean and safe to drink, but the psychological element — knowing exactly where the water came from — can be hard to get around.
Mr. Gates recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and he brought with him a couple water glasses, one of them filled with previously-sludge water. Or, so he said. He invited Fallon to choose a glass of water and drink it, gambling whether he’d get the glass of poo-derived water or the bottled water.
As you might have guessed, not all was as it seemed. “It was rigged,” Gates said after they’d both finished their glasses. “It was all poop water.” He goes on to give a very brief overview of the Omniprocessor, and Fallon ultimately gives the water his approval, saying it didn’t taste bad.