Using the power of the sun to save lives

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 2 billion people use a contaminated source of drinking water. Waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid affect around 700 million people. Billions of euros are spent each and every year to treat sufferers of these illnesses. To combat this problem, Helioz’s mission is simple: to provide clean drinking water to those who need it.

“We use the power of the sun to disinfect water.”

Martin Wesian is the Founder and Chief Technical Officer of Helioz, a social enterprise and certified B Corporation, whose purpose is to develop innovative solutions to the direst issues facing society today.

Helioz has developed a solar powered UV measurement device called WADI, which stands for water disinfection. It visualizes the process of solar water disinfection in PET bottles. The process is simple. Fill the PET bottles with water. Put the bottles and WADI out in the sun. Wait a few hours. When a smiley face appears on WADI’s display, the water is safe to drink.

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Helioz has projects all over the world and the results are undeniable. In areas where WADIs are being used, there has been an 80% reduction in waterborne diseases. And the observable benefits are not only health related–there has also been an increase in children’s school attendance of 40% in project areas.

Helioz’s WADI doesn’t only save lives–it revolutionizes the way clean drinking water can be delivered in a sustainable and cost-effective way. Currently, the most common method of disinfecting water continues to be boiling it using either wood or gas. By harnessing the natural power of the sun and reducing the need to boil water for disinfection purposes, the use of a WADI results in an emission reduction of 1-3 tons of carbon a year.

Helioz is based in Impact Hub Vienna and currently has 15 projects, in 14 countries, affecting 8,000 households and 56,000 people. The current use of WADIs has contributed to a reduction of 9,600 tons of carbon emissions. The science is sound and the positive effects are beyond doubt; Helioz is a company on the forefront–they are the new vanguard of business using technology to reinvent how we work, why we work, and what we can achieve if we have commitment, ideals, and values.


Helioz’s work to revolutionize access to clean drinking water in a cost-effective way contributes to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):


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