U.S. Water News Online
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Imagine creating crystal-pure
water out of thin air.
It's being done now in the office of Grand Junction businessman
Stubbs believes the invention, called a Vapaire, will improve
drinking water supplies for people throughout the world.
The Vapaire is an innocuous-looking machine the size of a typical
water dispenser. It offers two options: cold water for a summer
refreshment or hot water for a cup of tea.
It quietly hums, much like a water cooler.
The hum collects water from the ambient humidity while purifying
the air at the same time. Thick, humid air of the Midwest or East
Coast works better than the dry air of western Colorado.
Still, Stubbs said, the Vapaire can collect up to five gallons
daily of pure water here in Grand Junction during certain times of
The novel idea is a modified version of a dehumidifier.
Often found in humid areas, dehumidifiers do just that -- they
extract water vapor from the air. Typically, people who operate
dehumidifiers need to empty slimy water every day from the machines.
The Vapaire adds several filters to a similar process -- it cleans
the air and makes the water drinkable.
San Antonio resident Terry LeBleu invented the machine in the
1980s and brought the idea to Salt Lake City businessmen Doug Lloyd
and Steve Thomsen.
``We were so taken by the idea that we solicited Sigfried Biere,''
an engineer who further refined the Vapaire's design, Thomsen said.
Lloyd recently visited the Korean factory where the first 60
Vapaires to be sold on the open market rolled off the assembly line.
All of those machines have been sold.
One of the first Vapaires manufactured sits in Stubbs' office.
Stubbs, who owns businesses in Grand Junction and Salt Lake City,
became acquainted with Thomsen and Lloyd in Utah. The duo hired
Stubbs and his partner, Lindsey Coleman, to sell Vapaires in the
United States and Mexico through their Pure Water Solutions
Stubbs touts the machine as providing a healthier alternative to
bottled and tap water for U.S. markets. The cost for electricity and
air filters for a Vapaire comes to about $18 a month, Stubbs said.
It is believed the Vapaire can help people who live in Third World
countries, where water sources are either scarce or impure.
``This could have a real positive impact worldwide,'' Stubbs said.
``We want to help people who hike five miles a day for water with
jugs on their heads,'' he said. ``It's the evolution of water.''
Groundwater and surface water sources in developed countries can
contain impurities from gasoline, oil, pesticides, herbicides and
other pollution, Stubbs said.
The water in the Vapaire is so pure because air must travel
through two air filters before being collected in a vessel inside the
machine, Stubbs said. There, the water is further filtered.
Stubbs and others plan to market the machine to people who have
diseases that require them to drink pure water.
``With bottled water, the only thing you can be sure of is that
you're getting water in a bottle,'' Stubbs said.
``There is not anything else like this available.''
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