June 2007 Update

Kenya Project Targets HIV AIDS Households

Pottery filter systems, fabricated at the Eastleigh Community Centre (ECC), in Nairobi, Kenya, are currently being placed with families where there is HIV AIDS. The systems are going into the neighboring slum of Mathare, where residents do not have access to piped water.

The pottery candle filters of the systems are produced in the stoneware pottery of the ECC, where until last year, the chief product was high end tableware. The systems give 2.0 liters per hour of purified water, sufficient for the drinking water needs of a family, and these have been approved for the market by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

The candle systems are identical to systems that have been in production in Nepal. Studies in Nepal indicated that there was a lot of user-acceptability for the systems, since these have been easy to maintain, and have given water that is pleasant tasting. Similar studies, comparing the appropriateness of the water of several different household technologies are soon to begin in Kenya.

At the same time, candle filters that have been made in Kenya are being tested for virus removal, at the University of Delaware. Unlike the silver treated candles, that are predominantly those produced at the ECC, and are 100% pottery, the candes being tested for virus removal are 86% pottery and 14% ferrous oxide. In removing viruses, along with other pathogens, the 14% yellow ochre candles will achieve the highest standards of the World Health Organization, and its counterpart organizations.

New Work Focuses on Particulate Filters

The candle filters of the projects in Nepal and Kenya are now being referred to as monolithic filters, solid candle or disk, filter elements. This distinguishes this kind of filter from that of a particulate. Particulate filters consist of treated grog, pre-fired clay material, placed into a container. Contaminated water is then run through a bed of this material, making it pure. The technology is that of the link: www.SilverCeramicSystems.com/spgrog.htm

Particulate systems are expected to have many of the performance attributes of the monolithic systems: effectiveness, user-acceptability and sustainability, per location, plus these should be very inexpensive. A further virtue is that system size is scalable, from household size upto that of a municipality. New work on particulate systems is being undertaken in Alfred, NY, along with ceramic engineering professors Bill LaCourse and Bill Carty.

Particulate systems that are being assembled are to be treated with both silver and ferrous oxide, both very inexpensive. The ferrous oxide systems are also being examined with a view towards the removal of arsenic.

Plans are reportedly afoot at UNICEF Nepal, to place candle filter systems, like the one above, in Nepali schools. Students will then have potable water. Shown is one of the candles, a number of others ganged up within the upper container.

Drilling Wells in Arid Countries an Inexpensive Proposition

There is a real possibility that household water treatment will not be necessary at all, in locations where inexpensive wells can be dug, using appropriate technology. At arid sites hand operated extension pipes, with augers, can be used to dig up the sand and loose soil. Rope pumps can be placed into these bore holes, the entire well costing no more than about US$300.00. In many cases the water of these wells should be pure, as from the ground, so no further household treatment should be needed.