Manufacture of a low-cost ceramic microporous filter

February 26, 2013 · 0 comments

Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development Vol 3 No 1 pp 42–50, 2013 doi:10.2166/washdev.2013.110

Manufacture of a low-cost ceramic microporous filter for the elimination of microorganisms causing common diseases

J. J. Simonis and A. K. Basson

Department of Hydrology, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, P Bag X1001, KwaDlangezwa, 3886, South Africa E-mail:
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, South Africa

Africa is one of the most water-scarce continents on earth and the lack of potable water is responsible for the death of approximately 4,900 children every day. An effective way of making sure that water is of good quality is by decontaminating it by means of a household ceramic water filter. The low-cost water filters suitable for the removal of suspended solids, pathogenic bacteria and other toxins from drinking water were developed using the traditional slip casting process. The locally produced filter has the advantage of low cost due to the usage of locally available raw materials, labour and expertise.

Furthermore, the project provides opportunities for local financing and innovation. The product was tested using water contaminated with high concentrations of selected bacterial cultures as well as with water from local polluted streams. The ceramic filter was found to be highly effective in removing the bacteria and suspended solids from the contaminated water. With correct cleaning and basic maintenance, this filter can effectively provide clean drinking water for rural families affected by polluted surface water sources. This could provide a low-cost solution for the more than 250 million people without access to clean drinking water in Africa.

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