Soaring demand for a new powdered cleaning agent for muddied water has prompted Proctor & Gamble to donate the packets to tsunami-hit areas.
The purifying powder "Pur" was not as popular before the tsunami; many people found it too complicated to use. In fact, P&G had accumulated a large stock of packets which no one wanted after initial use on a small scale in Guatemala and Morocco, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The purification process takes several steps:
Add one sachet to 10 liters (or 2.5 gallons) of water and stir to begin process of precipitation and coagulation.
Stir water for five minutes until clear.
Filter water through a clean cotton cloth and dispose of separated floc in latrine.
Let clear water stand for 20 minutes to allow for complete disinfection.
Store in a suitable container to prevent recontamination.
After the tsunami, demand soared for the packets, and the company had to order extra shifts to manufacture more. The packets contain ingredients used in municipal treatment including ferric sulfate and calcium hypochlorite.
The company first sold the packets at a nominal cost but later decided to give away the packets free to tsunami victims.