Speed Reads

Billionaire Beverages

Bill Gates drinks water made from human waste to demonstrate a revolutionary sewage treatment breakthrough

Bill and Melinda Gates have donated more than $28 billion to their eponymous charitable foundation. Now, they're getting something in return: drinking water made from poop.

The surprising byproduct of the Gates' philanthropy comes from the Janicki Omniprocessor, a sewage treatment system designed to turn human waste into marketable commodities like electricity and, yes, potable water:

"The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle," Gates explained in a blog post. While the water and electricity byproducts are designed to make the Omniprocessor economically competitive, the project is really part of the Gates Foundation's effort to improve sanitation worldwide: Gates notes that 2 billion people use improperly-drained latrines, and 700,000 children are killed annually by diseases related to poor sanitation.