Book That Filters Water: ‘Drinkable Book’ Could Make Clean Water Available For Millions

Open the new “drinkable book” that filters water to remove lethal bacteria. There’s no story printed inside. Instead, there is clear water safety advice in the local people’s language. Each page is a filter treated with silver particles. When a person tears out one page, she can use it over and over again to make contaminated sludge into healthful drinking water for her family.

The filter system works because tiny silver nanoparticles that release silver ions are embedded in each cellulose page. As the dangerous microbes pass close to the silver ions, they die. Even water that’s teeming with dangerous microorganisms can be successfully cleaned by the “drinkable book” filter pages.

An invention like this water filtering book can be widely adopted because it’s a simple point-of-use technology. The person places the page on a filter box and pours the dirty water over it. Once the water goes through the filter, it’s clean and healthy.

Each page of the “drinkable book” can filter up to 26 gallons of water. A single person who had the 25-page filter book could purify all of his drinking water for about four years.

The dramatic advance was presented at the American Chemical Society’s 250th National Meeting & Exposition in Boston last week. According to, scientist Dr. Theresa Dankovich is the developer of the exciting new method of water purification. She has tested the filtration book pages in five countries in the developing world, where water-borne diseases cause millions of deaths each year.

Chemistry World reports that Dankovich’s water filter tests have resulted in a greater than 99 percent reduction in the numbers of E. coli bacteria in some samples tested. This is as clean as most United States public water supplies.

Dr. Dankovich explained how the filter book works to BBC News.

“All you need to do is tear out a paper, put it in a simple filter holder and pour water into it from rivers, streams, wells etc and out comes clean water — and dead bacteria as well.”

This YouTube video, produced by, shows the amazing new invention first developed at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia.