Making water safe to drink

John Hays of Washington, Iowa, has made sure the many small communities of Colima will forever have clean, purified water through an invention of his making.

John has a patent-pending on his equipment, and  plans to market it worldwide. But in the meantime, he is helping people in Mexico to have purified water--100% safe to drink--for a community of 5,000, in minutes. And he is starting in Colima, with the communities of Chandiablo, La Lima, Veladero de los Otates, Huizcolote, Lomas de Avila, Cedros, Ciruelito, Llano de la Marina, Camichin and Las Canoas.

Hays has worked for the water company in Washington for 30 years. Four years ago he developed a system for that city--a system that can process more than 1 million gallons of water daily--germ free.

John and Mary Hayes demonstrate how to purify water
at the Scuba Shack in Santiago. Steve Stout, president
of the Rotary Club in Manzanillo, holds a copy of "El
Correo," Manzanillo's daily newspaper, with a half-page
story on Hays' humanitarian efforts.

The system is smaller that he is taking to 34 cities and migrant camps throughout Mexico. His prototype, through his company--International Water Management Systems--will allow cities with up to a 5,000 population, to have potable water--easy to do, and free of charge.

Hays was honored recently by the mayor of Manzanillo, for his efforts to help some of Colima's more remote--and lower income--communities mentioned above.

Photo, right: Hays demonstrating to the Meztecos (migrant workers) how to use the water purifier. 

Hays and his wife, Mary, believe in their credo, "Making a difference, one drop at a time." 

In Manzanillo, he has gifted Casa Hogar Los Angelitos and Casa Hogar Liborio Espinosa (both foster care facilities/orphanages), and the Asilo de los Ancianos (home for the aged) with a small hand-held chlorine generator that is both portable and permanent depending upon the needs.

Photo, left: Learning to use the water purifying system at Los Angelitos. 

It was through Casa Hogar Los Angelitos that John learned about the Meztecos.  Los Angelitos--through the efforts of Dr. Dan Keuning, from Pagosa Springs, Colorado--worked with these people for the past two years to help them in their extreme unsanitary conditions.  The migrant workers are here for about 6-7 months out of the year. This year, Los Angelitos provided them with medicine to clear their systems of parasites, acquired through drinking contaminated water. Following their treatment, Los Angelitos made arrangements for John Hays to bring a water purifier for these people.  The water purifiers are a combined effort of various "help" groups. 

In addition to having the foster home for children here in Manzanillo, founder and director of the not-for-profit organization, Nancy Nystrom, helps children in other poorer communities, even in other states. Her catchphrase, "Love is the key; with love all things are possible" is something Nystrom has believed since the conception of Casa Hogar Los Angelitos. Her motto, "Rescuing Children, Changing Lives, One Child at a Time...with Compassion, Dedication and Integrity," is her creedo, and something everyone involved with Los Angelitos believes in.

Hays' goal is to place his appliance in the 17 countries, where the device is most needed.  According to Hays, more than 25,000 adults and 5,000 children die of bad water daily around the world. With his great empathy toward children--and his Christian faith--he wanted to do something that would make a difference. Hays states that in Tanzania, Africa last year 120 children succumbed to diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid after drinking the local water. After using his equipment, the percentage of deaths has been reduced to under 1%.

Photo, right: One of the ten small towns to benefit from the water purification system.

According to Hays' web site,, the model "Khlor Gen 3000" is designed and built to meet the commercial needs of third world countries: to provide potable drinking water to the millions who are dying daily due to lack of safe water conditions.

This unit is capable of producing disinfectant for a single dwelling household or several hundred persons. All that is required is the introduction of a saline solution and 12 volts DC. Since the state of Colima is known for its sea salt production, finding the salt product is no problem here.

Here's what happens with a chlorine generator:

Electricity is passed through a solution of salt and water (called brine). In Hays' system, he takes approximately one teaspoon of salt to a 6 oz. bottle of water from any source. Shake to mix, and pour it through his chlorine generator, hooked up to a 12 volt power source (battery or generator). The electricity passed through a solution of salt and water produces three things:

  1. Hydrogen gas (H2) at the negative electrode
  2. Sodium hydroxide (also called caustic soda - NaOH) at the negative electrode
  3. Chlorine gas (Cl2) at the positive electrode

When tested, the now chlorinated water reads 10 ppm (parts per million) of chlorine. Government recommendations are 1.0 ppm in potable water, so the actual amount of clean drinking water this process produces can benefit up to 5,000 people! Plus, the entire process takes no more than a minute!

Assisting Hays in his quest are Steve Stout, president of Manzanillo's Rotary Club, Nancy Nystrom, founder of Los Angelitos, Sonya Florez, sister cities coordinator, Mayor Virgilio Mendoza Amescua, and the city's board members. For more information about this ongoing project, visit Hays' web site.