Tuesday, March 22

A Simple Filter

In the past, Zambia has faced school closings as a result of a lack of sanitary facilities. With over a third of its population without access to safe drinking water, it is clear that many Zambians are struggling to manage this precious resource.

UNESCO offers a simple technology for filtering water at schools. A Packed Drum Filter essentially allows water to percolate down through layers of sand and gravel -- to remove any turbidity (think: cloudiness) -- into a reservoir. The water in the reservoir is then treated with a chlorine mixture to sanitize it. After that, it's ready to drink.

Finding a drum -- even in rural Africa -- shouldn't be too challenging, and chlorine is cheap (it's subsidized). Until such time as community can construct an adequate well for itself, the Packed Drum Filter is a viable alternative.