Enter Sandman: simple filter could provide a safe water solution for millions
World Water Week has just ended; the need for clean, safe drinking water in many parts of the developing world hasn’t, however. While some scientists and engineers have focused on high-tech solutions to this crisis, Dr. Jeffrey Amburgey and his students at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte ground their water purification research in the KISS principle: “… make it as simple as possible.”
Amburgey and team have focused on the development of a “rapid sand filter” system that allows for efficient, low-cost water treatment with readily-available materials. According to Amburgey, “All that is needed is some PVC pipe, sand and inexpensive treatment chemicals.”
The results so far: a 99% removal rate of Cryptosporidium oocysts, a parasitic organism that can work its way through other sand filtering systems (and cause some pretty nasty illnesses). Amburgey’s rapid filter system also has geographical flexibility built in: indigenous sands and crushed rocks can be adapted for use with the technology.
Flashy and cutting-edge? No. Inexpensive, appropriate, and probably life-saving? You betcha!
Image: Dr. Amburgey’s students with the rapid sand filter, courtesy of University of North Carolina – Charlotte.