Komanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - In January of this year, I helped set up the water distribution system at an Ebola treatment center (ETC) in DRC. In order to control the spread of disease within the ETC, protocol requires that the soles of everyone's boots are disinfected with .5% chlorine solution each time they leave a patient room or cross into a different risk zone within the ETC. This either requires a second person to spray each moving staff person or the installation of chlorinated foot baths at each threshold. A second person is a waste of personnel and a foot bath is rendered less effective as soon as the first person places their soiled boots inside.
At first, I considered designing something with a pumping mechanism (think giant spray bottle) to be stationed at each threshold, but then I realized the best solution is really to plumb chlorine solutions throughout the ETC and simply design a fitting that can be attached to the plumbing and includes a sensor, valve, power source, and spray head. I don't actually know what that would look like, but here's a good ol' college try!
Total time: 3h