Android Releases New Smart Phone App for Clean Water

A new smart phone app called “FLOW” (Field Level Operations Watch) that lets people in developing countries snap photos of broken water pumps, has been developed for the Android phone. (Click on the image to the left to try it out!) Water charities install pumps in these nations in an effort to bring clean water to the developing world. While in most cases all intentions are good, in 30-45 percent of cases, these pumps don’t work.

Sometimes, groups knowingly install broken pumps so they can add one more case to their file of successful, happy stories. Other times, they may work upon installation, but they usually break within a decade, according to Ned Breslin, the CEO of the nonprofit group, Water for People. Breslin recalls the story of a mother who found her son dead after he unknowingly drank contaminated water from a pump that was broken – one of several stories that has motivated him to take a stand to ensure that villages in developing nations are able to care for these water treatment systems long-term.

The Android app does just that. Anyone who comes into contact with a water pump that has a smart phone can take a picture of it,  complete questionnaires designed to determine how well it is or is not working, and log GPS coordinates. Anytime a photo of a broken pump is taken, it is stored in a person’s phone and automatically uploaded once that person comes in contact with a high-speed mobile connection or Wi-Fi.

This app could be replicated by other nonprofits for other purposes in the future, and is one of several apps designed to provide people with clean water to drink. Several months ago, iPhone released the ‘Oasis Places’ app, designed by Thermos. This app allows users to track locations, ratings and photos of water fountains across the U.S., where they can go to fill up their reusable water bottle.

Don’t have a smart phone? You can still help bring clean water to the world by clicking on the widget above this post. Just one click donates water to someone in need for an entire day!

Top of the Line Air Purifiers at Filters Fast

The Whirlpool Whispure 510 Air Purifier was recently rated a Consumer Reports ‘Best Buy’!

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, an air purifier just might be your ticket to a healthier home. Many people don’t realize just how crucial indoor air quality is to respiratory health. Contaminants like pollen, dust, ragweed, airborne viruses and bacteria contribute significantly to lung illnesses. If you’re not sure whether or not you need an air purifier, our Home Indoor Air Quality Quiz may help you get a better idea. If you’re in the market for an air purifier, you’ve come to the right place. These four air purifier filters happen to be at or near the top of the Consumer Reports list of recommended room air purifiers:

1. Whirlpool AP51030K Air Purifier

The Whirlpool Whispure 510 Air Purifier for Large Rooms (up to 500 square feet) was recently awarded a Consumer Reports Best Buy, receiving high marks for the removal of allergens such as dust, pollen and smoke on its highest setting. This lightweight HEPA air purifer captures 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns, and is one of the quietest air purifiers on the market. With four fan speed settings, you can customize the speed, sound and filtration levels to suit your needs. This purifier also has two separate filter change indicator lights that let you know when it’s time to replace the HEPA filter and the pre-carbon filter. The filter life is approximately six months to one year.

The Whirlpool Whispure 510 is one of several Whirlpool Whispure Air Purifiers available at Filters Fast. It is an upgraded version of the Whirlpool Whispure 450 for Large Rooms, featuring a few new settings, including an additional fan speed, a touch pad control panel, and a sleep mode setting for better energy efficiency at night. For medium-sized rooms, we also carry the Whirlpool Whispure 250. For the price, this line of air purifiers is hard to beat!

2. BlueAir 503 HEPASilent Air Purifier

Rated fourth on the list of Consumer Reports recommended air purifiers, the BlueAir 503 also receives high marks for the removal of many particles including dust, pollen and smoke on its high setting. At it’s lowest setting, this air purifier is also one of the quietest on the market. Using three combination HEPASilent particle air filters, it combines both mechanical and electrostatic filtration technology to thoroughly capture 99.97 percent of airborne particles down to the 0.1 micron level at a quicker rate and with less noise than other comparable models. This purifier features four fan speed settings and an air filter replacement indicator, with each filter lasting approximately 6 months. The BlueAir 503 is designed to work in medium to large rooms of up to 580 square feet.

3. BlueAir 650E HEPASilent Air Purifier

The BlueAir 650E is rated just underneath the BlueAir 503 HEPASilent purifier. It has similar features, but is made to work in larger rooms of up to 700 square feet.

4. 3M Filtrete Ultra Clean Air Purifier

The 3M Filtrete Ultra Clean comes in two sizes, the FAP02-RS for small rooms of up to 160 square feet, and the FAP03-RS for larger rooms of up to 360 square feet. Filters Fast carries the smaller version of this air purifier. Even more effective than a HEPA unit, this model captures up to 99.9 percent of airborne particles. Consumer reports gives it high marks for the removal of contaminants such as dust, pollen and smoke on its high setting. The Filtrete Ultra Clean also features a filter change indicator that lets you know when it’s time to replace the filter.

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