This Smart Water System Could Replace Plastic Bottles In Your Home

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May. 31 2019, Updated 12:29 p.m. ET

People buy plastic water bottles for all kinds of reasons, but one of the biggest is the fear over contaminated tap water. Depending on where you live, there might be lead, arsenic, or mercury in the water that spills out of your sink — and when you can’t trust your own tap, it’s completely natural to turn to individually sealed, single-use plastic bottles. 

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rOcean is seeking to address this problem with a more sustainable solution that filters, flavors, and carbonates water at the press of a button.

The rOcean One is a smart device that connects directly to your faucet through an included kit. It takes the water from your tap and then filters it, purging up to 75 contaminants in the process. Much like SodaStream and other home soda makers, it can also carbonate the water and flavor it with a reusable rPod. 

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The pods come in strawberry, peach pear, ginger apple, and seven other flavor- and mineral-enhancing options, and you can even customize the dosage to give your water a burst or just a hint of berries. The rPods are dishwasher-safe, so you never have to throw them away — just wash and refill for a new batch.

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Because the rOcean One is a smart device, it can be controlled remotely through Google Home, Alexa, or an app. It also knows when you’re running low on pods, filters, or CO2 replacements before you do, tracking supplies and automatically ordering replacements with plenty of time to spare. Not that you’ll need many, since rOcean promises you’ll only need to change the filter once a year.

rOcean claims that if every household in America replaced plastic water bottles with an rOcean One, it would instantly eliminate 36 billion single-use bottles from circulation. The issue is personal for co-founders Sunjay Guleria and Mohini Boparai, who named the company in part after their son, Roshan.

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“When we discovered the impact that plastic is having on the oceans, we felt it was important to really focus our efforts on revitalization,” Guleria said on Cheddar

He and Boparai are furthering that mission through a partnership with SECORE, the international nonprofit. Back in June for World Oceans Day, the couple donated a portion of all sales to SECORE to support coral reef restoration and protection.

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rOcean first launched its smart water system on Indiegogo this February, seeking $30,000 to fund its production. That batch sold out, so now the company is back for round two. rOcean is currently offering crowdfunders a chance to preorder the rOcean One for $199 or the rOcean BLUE, a limited edition version with a deep navy hue, for $239. Each bundle comes with three rPods, a filter, and a CO2 cartridge, but the rOcean BLUE also boasts a custom carafe. Orders are slated to arrive by December of this year.

“Our goal is, if we can insert these devices into homes and really change how people view plastic water bottles, we're going to have a great impact on the world," Guleria said on Cheddar.

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