With last summer’s record heat and prolonged drought still fresh on our minds, we bring you news of the WaterStep M-100 Chlorinator. This may just be a game changer.

The device is the result of a collaboration between GE, the non-profit WaterStep and a handful of volunteers. Built in the garage of GE engineer Steve Froelicher (and with help from fellow engineer Sam DePlessis), the M-100 has been over a year in the making.

Essentially, the invention uses electrolysis — generated by table salt and a car battery — to produce chlorine gas, which then disinfects contaminated water to make it drinkable.

According to the organization’s website, the M-100 Chlorinator is capable of generating enough chlorine to disinfect 38,000 liters of water per day — enough for about 10,000 people.

What does this have to do with home improvement, you may ask? Those of you living in the central states who took the brunt of last summer’s droughts know the seriousness of the water shortage issue. If last summer was as portentous as some would have us believe, a device like the M-100 may be a must-have for communities in the future. Or, if things get real bad, individual homes.

Watch this space for more.