Solar Water Purification System

What it is

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The Water Purification Station enables pumping, purification and disinfection, and has huge potential of carbon emissions reduction by avoiding boiling water with firewood or charcoal. The target groups are poor households living in off-grid areas with severe health, water and sanitation problems. The system also aims to create local entrepreneurship and enhance local communities’ ownership on a development project, within a public-private partnership initiative.

Based on a public-private partnership operation model, a public donor (government or donor agency) will supply the initial capital to purchase a water purification system for a Lao village. This is used to pump, clean and sterilize water to safe drinking water standards. The system will also include water bottling facilities, including recyclable plastic polyethylene bottles (20 litres) and equipment to locally produce chlorine that is used to disinfect bottles after they are returned for refilling. The system will be owned by the village community as a whole, but will be managed by a Village Water Committee (VWC), which will comprise villagers of respected standing within the community.

This entrepreneur will receive initial technical and operational training from Sunlabob’s as well as ongoing support, water quality checks and provision of replacement components. The VWC will also receive training on how to effectively manage the system. Basic hygiene training will also be administered to the villagers to facilitate improvements in health. This entire training package will be funded by the donor as part of the overall service package.

How it works

The solar water purification system has two main components:

  • Removal of chemical contaminants (colour, taste, odour, etc.) by use of several filters;
  • Removal of microbial contaminants (such as micro-organisms carrying cholera, typhoid, etc.) by UV (and ozone) disinfection (flow sterilization);

Additional filters can be added depending on the quality of the raw water source (i.e. arsenic or nitrate filters, as well as additional fine filters).

It is powered by solar energy, and includes a battery for those days which are cloudy, so purification of the water can happen all year round, hassle-free.

Chlorination (bottle disinfection):

An important source of contamination in drinking water is the water container. In order to prevent recontamination after the water has been purified and to clean the bottles returned after use, it is important to clean the bottles. This can be done by using Chlorine. The Chlorine is locally produced from brine (saturated salt solution). It is a very simple, robust system that is solar powered and able to produce Chlorine consistently, which can then be diluted as necessary to disinfect the bottles.

Applications

The Solar Water Purification System is customisable and can be used to supply water for communities or village clusters of up to 5000 people.

The system can be used in rural and urban settings such as households, schools, factories, hotels, restaurants and remote camps.