Expanding Access to Safe Drinking Water Across the Globe

Unsafe drinking water threatens the lives of millions of people across the globe. In fact, the lack of clean drinking water is the second leading cause of illness, malnutrition and death for children under the age of five worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Disinfectants offer a simple, but powerful, solution to this very complex problem. Just a couple of drops of Clorox® Bleach can be used to disinfect and sanitize water.

Over the years, The Clorox Company has donated disinfecting bleach to aid disaster relief around the world and supported several global programs aimed at stopping infections. In 2011, for example, we created The Clorox® Safe Water Project in partnership with PRISMA, a Peruvian nonprofit dedicated to eliminating childhood malnutrition, to address the chronic problem of unsafe drinking water in Peruvian communities.

In Peru, one in seven people do not have access to safe water. The Clorox® Safe Water Project provides public bleach dispensers, which release a pre-measured amount of bleach, near community water sources to help treat and disinfect water by safely killing bacteria and viruses. The Safe Water Project also provides health and hygiene education to children.

Since the Project launched, more than 60% of homes treat their water with disinfecting bleach. And today, The Safe Water project is using the disinfecting power of bleach to provide over six billion liters of safe, drinkable water to more than one million people in rural communities in Peru and Africa, with a goal of helping more than 3.4 million people by 2020.

The methods used by The Safe Water Project could also be applied at home when clean water is not easily accessible. This could be the case if, after an emergency, such as a hurricane or flood, authorities haven’t confirmed the water is safe to drink, clean with, or bathe in. That’s because during and after a disaster, water can become contaminated with microorganisms (for example, bacteria), sewage, agricultural or industrial waste, chemicals, and other substances that can cause illness1.

When boiling off water for 1 minute is not practical, you can use Clorox® Regular Bleach2 to disinfect water by adding 8 drops to 1 gallon of filtered water and letting stand for 30 minutes. The treated water can then be made palatable by pouring it between clean containers several times.

To learn more about The Safe Water Project, visit www.clorox.com/our-story/safe-water-project.