Biological sand filters, a practical approach to combat poverty and inequality

Sep 24, 2008

Microbiologically contaminated water plagues approximately 1.1 billion people in rural and peri-urban populations in developing countries. Roughly 2.2 million people without safe access to drinking water die each year from the consumption of unsafe water, and most of them are children under 5 years of age.

A new article published in Current Protocols in Microbiology provides detailed instructions for constructing and using low-cost biological sand (biosand) filters capable of dramatically improving the quality of drinking water. The article has been made available for free and can be viewed here.

Biological sand filters, which have gained acceptance by the World Health Organization as a viable household water treatment technology, work by having water percolate slowly through a layer of sand, where microorganisms form a bacteriological purification zone. This process filters harmful pathogens from contaminated water. To use the filter, a person simply pours contaminated water into the household biosand filter and immediately collects treated water.

The filters will do more than provide safe, clean drinking water. According to Michael Lea, author of the article, "the filters will provide a cost-effective practical approach to combat poverty and inequality."

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Fertilization regimen reduces environmental impact of landscape palms

Related Stories

Researchers find a new way to clear the air

Mar 17, 2015

In 1999, then-Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said that Beijing's pall of smog "would shorten my life at least five years," a hazard level scientists affirmed two years ago with a study of China's air pollution. That reality that ...

Environmental bridge over troubled waters

May 08, 2013

A breakthrough innovation designed to purify water through the rapid removal of oily pollutants, could have major environmental benefits in agriculture and manufacturing industries.

First 'nanorust' field test slated in Mexico

May 27, 2009

Rice University researchers today announced that the first field tests of "nanorust," the university's revolutionary, low-cost technology for removing arsenic from drinking water, will begin later this year ...

Study reveals scale of water crisis in areas of Pakistan

Feb 09, 2015

Currently, one in nine people across the world lack access to safe water, and an estimated 842 000 people die every year from a water-related disease. It's not just about health and hygiene – all aspects ...

Recommended for you

Sandwich system found effective in organic apple orchards

2 hours ago

In organic apple orchards, one of the most serious challenges for growers is determining ways to limit weed competition while improving soil quality and ensuring high yields of quality apples. Scientists from the Swedish ...

Protein scaffold

2 hours ago

Right before a cell starts to divide to give birth to a daughter cell, its biochemical machinery unwinds the chromosomes and copies the millions of protein sequences comprising the cell's DNA, which is packaged ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

codesuidae
not rated yet Sep 24, 2008
Link doesn't exist.

http://mrw.inters...rent/pdf

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.