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Filtering toxic water for use in drinking

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  • #256724
    trandto
    Member

    We are currently in Cambodia doing some volunteer work. One of the projects we are involved with includes delivering drinking water to several rural communities every day. That’s driving a truck around to deliver water. Cost is high, hire of the truck and diesel etc but the labour is volunteer.

    They have water available but it is contaminated with heavy metals, pollution and is very turbid. That aside, they eat the snakes, eels, rats and frogs that inhabit the water ways.

    We were wondering about technologies that may be able to treat the water for use as drinking. Obviously there have to be a few criteria, cheap, easy to run, not fragile and preferably solar as thee is no power etc.

    Anyone have any experience with any technologies they think might be suitable, I have done some Googling.

    Here’s their school, to give you an idea

    #521871
    BlueWren
    Member

    Some of us on here have been learning about the Moringa_oleifera tree, Drumstick tree,and one of its uses is to purify water.I’ll put the link for this quote below, but there’s heaps more on line about these trees and their miraculous properties.Don’t know about heavy metal removal though.You’d need some expert advice, even if the trees will grow in that area.Best up to 500m above sea level, will tolerate light frost.Not sure what your climate is like.Might be worth investigating these trees anyway for all their other uses.Highly nutritious for people and stock.

    “A literature review indicates that Moringa oleifera seeds coagulate 80.0% to 99.5%

    turbidity (surrogate for suspended fine particles) and color (surrogate for natural organic

    material), efficiently leading to a aesthetically clear supernatant. As a safer indicator, this

    was concurrently accompanied by a 90.00% to 99.99% bacterial load reduction (fecal

    coliforms), with bacteria concentrated in the sedimented sludge (Madsen et al., 1987).

    Moringa flocculants released from the crushed seed kernels have been characterized as

    basic polypeptides with a molecular weight between 6 and 16 kDa (Jahn, 1988) and

    an isoelectric pH of 10 to 11 (Folkard and Sutherland, 2001). They bind suspended

    particles in a colloidal suspension, forming larger sedimenting particles (flocs) that

    include pathogenic microorganisms (Madsen et al., 1987). These findings highlight the

    importance of widespread dissemination of this rudimentary water treatment protocol

    (Basic Protocol 2 and Support Protocol 1) among the rural and peri-urban marginalized poorest of poor communities, contributing to improving equity, social justice, and the

    overall quality of life through the provision of potable water.”

    I did put the link and checked it and it says I’m forbidden to access it! Just do some Googling.I’m assuming you can as you have accessed ALS .You must be having a very inteteresting and challenging time.

    #521872
    BlueWren
    Member
    #521873
    marigold
    Member

    Solar distillation should leave the heavy metals behind. I came across this site for one, but I’m sure there are plenty more.

    http://www.solaqua.com/solstilbas.html

    #521874
    trandto
    Member

    marigold post=340118 wrote: Solar distillation should leave the heavy metals behind.

    That’s what I had assumed but one site I was reading said there was “no guarantee of the water purity”. I am not sure if that’s just lawyer speak to cover their arse or if it’s because there is “no guarantee of the water purity” 🙂

    That aside, this has to generate enough water for several dispersed villages, so assuming one system at each village = a crap load of money… unfortunately (as well as getting it over here) There is also the added problem of they are the poorest of the poor with no land, so they are squatting, at any stage they (and their water purifaction) could be thrown off the land.

    Anyway, I will keep looking. Thanks for the posts so far

    #521875
    BlueWren
    Member

    Could you grow Maringa_oleifera trees there? They have a miriad of uses- culinary,medicinal, firewood, stock feed , nutrition – quite apart from the water purification ability.

    #521876
    marigold
    Member

    I wasn’t thinking you should buy commercial ones T&T, just that it should be possible to rig up something similar. After all it is basically a piece of glass, in a box, suspended over a water trough with a catch area at the bottom. May not be dead efficient but every little should help.

    Can’t see that heavy metals would evaporate that easily – maybe ask a chemist if you can find one. Has to be better than the original stuff.

    #521877
    kerrieb
    Member

    Hmm mercury do you know what form it is present in? Dimethyl mercury a common polluting organometalic form of mercury has a boiling point below that of water so distillation might be a bit iffy in that case.

    Have a hunt around the WHO site and see what you can find they often have decent information on a range of things relevant to third world conditions.

    http://www.who.int/en/

    Bye the way those Moringa sound interesting but unless the metals are present in colliodal form it’s not going to help much in this case.

    #521878
    owlbrudder
    Member

    kerrieb post=340160 wrote: Dimethyl mercury a common polluting organometalic form of mercury has a boiling point below that of water so distillation might be a bit iffy in that case.

    Yikes! I had thought distillation was a pretty good solution, too. Back to the drawing board!

    Does dimethyl mercury sneak through reverse-osmosis filters as well, do you know? I recently watched “Gasland” and one of the ‘victims’ had been given a r/o system by the gas company, after their bore became polluted with fraking chemicals, but the pollutants ate away the osmosis membrane!

    #521879
    BlueWren
    Member

    This one is interesting.

    http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/eliodomestico-solar-house-still.html

    I think it’s a fancy version of what you were suggesting, marigold?

    #521880
    BlueWren
    Member

    kerrieb post=340160 wrote: Hmm mercury do you know what form it is present in? Dimethyl mercury a common polluting organometalic form of mercury has a boiling point below that of water so distillation might be a bit iffy in that case.

    Have a hunt around the WHO site and see what you can find they often have decent information on a range of things relevant to third world conditions.

    http://www.who.int/en/

    Bye the way those Moringa sound interesting but unless the metals are present in colliodal form it’s not going to help much in this case.

    No,but I thought they may be useful for other issues.

    #521881
    trandto
    Member

    BlueWren post=340137 wrote: Could you grow Maringa_oleifera trees there?

    Probably not, as they are homeless, extremely poor and at threat of being booted off the land, therefore any longer term solutions would be mostly a waste of time. Of course installing anything permanent may see it destroyed for bits they can sell as well. It just seems an appalling waste of resources to drive out there in a rented truck everyday.

    #521882
    BlueWren
    Member

    Get your point trandto , but those trees grow very fast, second only to bamboo apparently. Maybe if some were planted wherever the people squat they would self seed and become spread over a large area where folk might squat in future….

    Look, I am talking through my hat I know ……absolutely know nothing of local conditions of course.I just got excited about the properties of Moringa trees.

    Here’s a very comprehensive link about growing Moringa.Looks as though it is a favourite with Community Development workers.

    http://www.avrdc.org/LC/indigenous/moringa.pdf

    #521883
    Tigerzeyz74
    Member

    How about this for an idea?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LifeStraw

    Would it be cheaper / more effective to purchase enough of these for the inhabitants rather than supply bottled water? I don’t really know a lot about them but they seem to be promoted as being able to be used in this sort of situation

    #521884
    fruitful
    Member

    http://www.coolbusinessideas.com/archives/waterwards-sun-sure-water/

    Saw something like this for sale (I thought in Gumtree) but I can’t find it now, was a bit pricey but looks like a good idea

    :shrug:

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