From a young age, high school student Sarayu Das has been concerned with water. Not only the water that permeates our ecosystem but more specifically what goes into our bodies. Pharmaceuticals, she found, when improperly disposed of down the drain or in the toilet are rarely detected and removed by normal filtration system and ultimately find their way into the environment and, into our tap water. What’s more most people don’t know the environmentally safe way to dispose of unwanted or unneeded pills.
Unwilling to let this harm continue Sarayu, now 16, invented two prototype filters to combat pharmaceutical-contaminated water and developed tools to help people better understand what steps they should be taking. Because she knows the problem is not local or regional, she’s reached out as far as the US Senate and the EPA for help tackling this global issue.
A family trip to Francis Marion Forest led Sarayu to discover creatures living in and negatively impacted by water contaminated with human pharmaceutical waste. Her natural curiosity, love of animals and penchant for solution building sent her on a mission to increase consciousness about water contamination, starting in her own backyard.