Water so pure and clean you'll swear it's from an alpine spring may soon be available from your kitchen faucet. ALAB, a research and design company in Pittsford, N.Y., has developed and patented a technology that, for pennies a gallon, can make even New Jersey water taste like Evian.

W. Allan Burris, an ALAB researcher, has devised a way to miniaturize ozone purification, the detoxification process used by most municipal water-treatment facilities. Ozone, a form of oxygen, is a powerful disinfectant that kills bacteria and viruses, thus improving the taste of the water. Until ALAB's device, such treatments were large-scale enterprises requiring costly ozone generators as big as railroad box cars. But Burris and his colleagues devised a way to shrink the technology so it fits in a device the size of a food processor.

The ALAB generator, which has a 15-year lifespan, works by pumping a dense column of tiny ozone bubbles through a one-gallon tank of water. The bubbles quickly dissolve, killing any germs present. Burris plans on developing several ozone generators that will retail from $80 to $300. And best of all, there won't be any messy filters to change.

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