Pure Solutions, the winner of the 2022 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, is working to make water purity testing more accessible for everyone to ensure that they are drinking safe water. The device they’ve created does just that, creating a simple and cost-effective testing process for anyone who is concerned about the quality of their water.
The company was co-founded by former Skyline High School seniors Vivek Anandh, Adrian Sucahyo, and David Sun. They have all recently begun college this fall. Anandh and Sucahyo are at the University of Utah, where they are members of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute’s Lassonde Founders residential scholarship program. Sun is at Yale.
Their device utilizes a probe that can be placed into a sample of water and will measure various parameters (including dissolved solids, pH levels, turbidity, etc.). These metrics help determine if the sample of water is within optimal quality and safety standards. The device can connect to a mobile application via Bluetooth to further utilize the device, including taking multiple measurements, logging trends, and real-time graphing interfaces. The next step in their design process is to integrate their device into household water systems.
The founders’ motivation for starting Pure Solutions began with the device itself … when Anandh’s family moved to their new home in Utah and faced water quality issues.
“We first noticed there was a problem when a white film appeared on the dishes and utensils that we would put in the dishwasher,” Anandh said. “We quickly became concerned and hired a water testing professional for a few hundred dollars. He informed us that our house had some of the hardest water that he had seen in his career, and that prolonged consumption could have led to serious health effects. It was at this time that I realized that if my family hadn’t been financially stable, we wouldn’t have been able to hire that professional help … not everyone can.”
The process of inventing the device began when the team combined a few off-the-shelf parts in a unique way. By the time they entered the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, however, they had begun constructing a much more sophisticated and complex device with custom parts.
“We learned over a fifth of Americans have consumed contaminated water within the past 10 years, with a large portion of them coming from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities,” Sucahyo said.
Sucahyo described a few advantages that come with utilizing the technology they have developed, which are all aimed at supporting those in communities that are more likely to be subjected to contaminated water. The device is reusable, unlike many of the one-time testing strips that currently exist in the market. It also promises greater quality and accuracy in its testing results, while still being competitively low in price compared to other water testing technologies. With a few future goals and ideas in mind, Pure Solutions is working step-by-step to make this device as effective as possible in changing the world of water purification.
Sun’s personal connection with this project runs deep, with his own life giving him a glimpse into the importance providing communities with access to safe resources.
“Having grown up in an under-resourced community myself, it’s really important to me that people have access to something as basic as clean water,” Sun said. “When we do our best to provide everyone with the resources that they need, that’s when people can go and do even greater things. This is something that’s extremely important to the future of our communities.”
This is what eventually led the Pure Solutions team to the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at the University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, where they were able to compete with several other startups run by young entrepreneurs like themselves.
“We had briefly heard about the Lassonde competition before, but it didn’t occur to us to apply for it until we had a real invention to showcase our work,” Sucahyo said. “Lassonde was a great opportunity for us to get our names out there.”
Apart from the competition, Sun also described the inspiration the team felt by being surrounded by other startup leaders from all around Utah.
“The competition itself was a really fun experience. We really liked meeting people from across the state and seeing how motivated they were with their own startups,” Sun said. “When we saw people that were so motivated, it made us want to make the world that much better.”
While the team awaits taking their next steps, Anandh, Sucahyo, and Sun are optimistic about what Pure Solutions can do for communities everywhere.
“Our goal is to create a future where pure water is accessible to everyone, not just a luxury for few to enjoy,” Anandh said.
Learn more about the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.