Kenora’s Ben Kaufmann is working to bring safe, clean drinking water to remote communities across the nation.

The Industrial Design student at Carleton University travelled to Chicago to compete in the International Housewares Student Design Competition. The competition aims to challenge students to redesign a current housewares product to meet the needs of the future, or to create a concept for a new product. Winning projects are selected for their innovation, understanding of production and marketing principles and quality of entry materials.

His self-powered water distiller, called BIO, impressed the judges enough to take home a shared-first place victory. The BIO Water Distiller removes toxins, bacteria and heavy metals from drinking water, and was designed for the Canadian market where more than 160 remote communities struggle to find clean water. The distillation system utilizes a standard five-gallon water jug and adapts to a gas and electric stove, hot plate, wood stove and more – to allow the user the choice to use a low-cost energy source.

“When I did the research, I found that people just buy bottled water. I really wanted to make water more affordable and accessible for people in remote, northern communities. I wanted families to be able to control their own drinking water. So I designed this product. Using the distillation process, it basically boils the water to steam and then condenses it back to clean water,” he said.

Kaufmann noted that he worked on the design weekly over four months. He added that he would like to see the project move forward and further prototype the product. He estimates that if the product went to market, it would cost between $200 - $300 at retail. He says that he may look into creating a non-profit model for the product, to limit production costs.

“It’s all happened so suddenly. I didn’t expect the level of interest in it,” he added.

For winning the contest, Kaufmann received a $2,500 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to Chicago for the 2018 International Home and Housewares Show in March. The winning product concept will be seen by over 60,000 attendees and 2,200 exhibiting companies from more than 145 countries.

For more information:
IHA’s 2018 Student Design Competition Winners

More Local News

Black Sturgeon homeowners challenge tax fairness

Richard Cone is lobbying candidates for city council in Kenora on behalf of the property owners' association on the Black Sturgeon. Cone wants to see more value for money, when it comes to the…

Kitowski bids for second term

Jennifer Kitowski's contributed to the community as a trustee for Kenora and Sioux Narrows on the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. She has also helped shape public policy at the provincial…

Thieves tarnish wedding celebration

Jeff Bowen of Rednex Rebellion woke up to some bad news. His downtown store had been robbed. "Not exactly the way I had imagined waking up the day after my wedding. A phone call from the cops to let…

Guitard wants to improve student supports

Trustee Michelle Guitard is a social worker, who is running for re-election this fall on the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. "My kids are still in the system. I still have one in elementary…

OPP prepare for cannabis legalization

Cannabis is being legalized on October 17. The province has created new laws around how, where and who can buy and possess cannabis in the province. You will need to be 19 and older to buy, use,…

Commissioner to recognize rescuers

The OPP will be recognizing life savers from Pellatt Wednesday in Thunder Bay. Commissioner Vince Hawkes will be in attendance, as he thanks rescuers for saving the lives of an older couple on Sandy…

Police investigating 20-year-old’s death

The Kenora detachment of the OPP is investigating the sudden death of a 20-year-old female. On October 13 at approximately 1 p.m., officers from the Kenora OPP received a call to assist paramedics…

Trustees hold the line

At their last meeting, Keewatin-Patricia District School Board trustees voted to receive the same honoraria for the next term in office, as they've been receiving over the last four years. The base…

Marcino bids for re-election

Cecile Marcino's been a trustee for 18 years now with the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, but she still enjoys visiting the schools and the kids. "My thought would be looking at what the…

Big Island member missing

Police are asking for the public's assistance in locating a missing Big Island member. Officers from Treaty Three Police Service, along with the OPP are engaged in the search. Kirkrude, 26, is… is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide