Water filter for rotting corpse particles?

Corpse found in water tankThe dead body of an Indonesian maid was found in the rooftop water tank of a residential building in Singapore, a few days ago. A Bangladeshi man has been arrested in connection with the case; he was seen choking her. It is believed that they were in an intimate relationship, and both were seen arguing on the morning her body was found. The case has been classified as a murder by the police, but the exact cause of death has not been determined.

All of those details seem trivial, however, in light of this significance: her corpse may have tainted the drinking water of 700 residents. One resident reported seeing white bubbles in her water while bathing her children. Doctors recommended boiling the water prior to consumption, in order to kill any bacteria or other pathogens present from the corpse, but I’m not sure that I could stomach the thought of drinking water tainted by a dead body, boiled or not.

Incidents like these are few and far between, so I don’t think that a mass manufacture of water filters designed to remove rotting corpse particles would be necessary. (We already have filters that will remove radioactive particles – perhaps they will filter dead body remnants as well…) I’m curious, though, as to what our readers would do in this situation. Boil the water and drink it? Purchase bottled water until the tank is cleaned and sterilized? Buy a Katadyn emergency water filter? Or move out of the building altogether?

With news of more frequent natural disasters, dead bodies found in residential water tanks, and reports of a potential zombie apocalypse from the CDC, now might be a good time to get prepared for the days ahead. We suggest you start by reviewing our post on “How to Survive the Apocalypse with Filters Fast,” as well as our article on Emergency Water Purification.

The Boston Aquapocalypse

Less than a fortnight ago, we wrote an article on “How to Survive the Apocalypse” using many of the air and water filters that we sell. In it, we wrote this sage advice:

“Don’t wait until it’s too late, folks. If you call us the day after the apocalypse, we probably won’t be working. Play it safe and stock up on these filters now, so you’ll know how to survive the apocalypse when and if that day comes.”

We hope some Boston residents heeded our advice.

Sure, we didn’t coin the term “aquapocalypse” that is making its rounds in articles, tweets and status updates across the Internet, but all of the advice we gave on how to survive the apocalypse still stands.

So, how did the Boston aquapocalypse occur? A collar connecting two major water pipes ruptured on Saturday. The water being sent to many Boston-area homes was not safe as a result, and state officials urged residents to boil their tap water. The water was reported to be safe for bathing in and doing dishes, but not consuming.

As a result of the water crisis, many residents of Boston and its surrounding cities made a run for bottled water at stores. The demand for the bottled water was so great that many consumers fought over the liquid.

While it’s not a funny situation by any means, it is ironic that Concord, MA — about 18 miles away from Boston — has banned the sale of bottled water, starting in 2011. Adding further to the irony of the situation is that the aquapocalypse should come during National Drinking Water Week.

The writers of Universal Hub, a blog about all-things Boston, chose to make light of the situation as well. Adam Gaffin, the founder of the blog, worked with designer Holly Gordon to create an “I Survived the Aquapocalypse” logo. You can wear your survival like a badge of honor on a t-shirt, or you can purchase a coffee mug or mousepad bearing the logo.

The term aquapocalypse is pretty humorous, and we have to admit that our “How to Survive the Apocalypse” article was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But there’s no denying that many of the emergency water filters we wrote about in that article would be put to good use in Boston right now.

Prahlad Jani – the Human Filter

Prahlad Jani brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” This 83-year-old holy man’s body is his recycling bin, according to a recent news article. Claiming to have lived the past seven decades without food or water, Jani was taken in for observation by Indian doctors on April 22, and since then has had no food or water and has not passed urine or stool.  His body has remained in perfect health since then, showing no signs of dehydration, hunger or fatigue.  He is still active enough to climb stairs and several tests on his brain reveal that it resembles that of a 25-year-old.

Jani claims to be a “breatharian,” a person who can live on “spiritual life force,” since receiving a blessing from a goddess at the age of eight.  He says that drops of water, or for him, drops of a magic elixir from the goddess, filter through a hole in his palate, sustaining him.  In addition, he is able to produce urine in his bladder as well as reabsorb it back into his body, at will.  Ordinarily, a person cannot survive without urinating, but it appears that Jani is able to filter and re-circulate the water that makes up 90 percent of his body at any time.

Here we have waste reduction and recycling in its simplest form.  Or maybe it isn’t so simple.  Scientists, of course, are baffled by this mystery, and as of yet, have no scientific explanation for it.  The “spiritual life force” that sustains him didn’t stop at the blessing of the goddess.  At age 83, Jani continues to receive energy through spiritual meditation, adding a fourth “r” – “rethink” – to the famous phrase, “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

Jani is undergoing a series of medical tests over a period of fifteen days as scientists are hoping to find solutions for people in emergency situations who must go without food or water for long periods.  Last week we gave suggestions for how to survive the apocalypse with six of our best emergency filters.  Can we add Jani, the human filter, to our list?  Only time will tell, so stay tuned for an update.  In the meantime, while you wait for a miracle blessing from a goddess, those six filters still come highly recommended.  For Jani and his fellow “breatharians,” we recommend the 3M N95 Respirator Mask in case of emergencies; since meditation involves breathing, they’ll want to make sure they aren’t inhaling air pollutants.