BLUE HILL, Maine — A local company is doing its part to aid the relief effort in the hardest hit areas of Sandy’s storm path.

Hydro-Photon Inc. in Blue Hill is sending a load of its SteriPEN handheld water purification tools to storm-ravaged portions of New Jersey and New York. The gadget uses ultraviolet light to kill waterborne microbes, bacteria and viruses, killing 99.9 percent of such organisms, according to the company.

Company founder and CEO Miles Maiden said an employee is bringing about 140 SteriPENs to the region. Each can purify about 100 liters of water on a single battery charge — enough drinking water to last an individual about four weeks, he said.

“The idea is to connect with some of the aid agencies and aid groups in that region and see if there’s an opportunity to provide some SteriPENS to folks who could use them,” Maiden said Tuesday.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that drinking water in the city is still safe. Still, Maiden said natural disasters often hurt sanitation efforts, and other areas may need help.

After disasters, residents are often told to boil water to make it safe. But Maiden said that doesn’t do residents any good if they’re without power.

“If your power is down, and the utilities aren’t working, than boiling water can be a problem,” he said. “So safe water becomes something of a problem during or after a hurricane, or earthquake, or other kinds of natural disasters.”

Maiden said the company also provided SteriPENs to Haiti after an earthquake ravaged that country in 2009.

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and,...