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Biosand Filtration

A simple point-of-use, in home device that purifies water for cleaner and safer drinking practice.

Photo of Sonia Doshi
8 12

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

The need for clean drinking water is particularly important in urban slum areas. Lack of access to filtered drinking water could result in a variety of diseases, especially dangerous in close living environments. Biosand filters are capable of reducing turbidity, metals, and microbial contamination in water. The filter consists of layers of natural sand and gravel that remove pathogens in the water. These filters are fairly simple and cheap to build and, if maintained appropriately, could provide filtered water to a home for up to fifty years. Offering this type of technology along with the appropriate education on the importance of clean water in these urban slum communities could significantly improve access to quality potable water. Inspired by a student organization I am involved with: http://bluelab.engin.umich.edu/

WHO BENEFITS?

The beneficiaries of this project would be urban slum residents in any community identified as lacking and in need of clean water. They would also receive the proper education and training to utilize biosand filters with an understanding of the importance of clean water as it pertains to their own health.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

This technology would require the help of engineers, students, and teachers in any city willing to take on the education, development, and implementation of this project. Volunteers passionate about teaching the importance of clean water and personal hygiene will be crucial to the success of this project by first working with the community members to educate them on this issue so that they adopt the use of the filter for the long term. The technology itself maximizes limited resources in that it can be built using inexpensive materials found in an urban slum community, depending on the location. The filters could be designed in collaboration with the urban slum residents to provide them with the experience to replicate the technology throughout their community and have an understanding of maintaining the filters for the long term. This filter would be a design for the ordinary in that it would be ideally integrated into the every day lives of these residents.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for one year or less

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for less than one year

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • This idea is meant to inspire - I hope someone else takes it on!

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am a student at the University of Michigan, studying User Experience Design. I worked on an engineering team that designed and implemented biosand filters for a rural mountain community in Jamaica that was facing a similar challenge in maximizing their own clean water.

8 comments

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Photo of Arif Khan
Team

You have a great idea, Sonia! I believe it will be a very doable proposition to deploy these filters to ensure safe, clean drinking water to slum dwellers, countrywide.

I especially thought the way you have taken the delivery tube back up to the water surface level to prevent any sand from flowing out to be very intelligent design!

I should like to make a suggestion. It would be nice if you could add a water reservoir with a tap to draw water from below the filter assembly to collect the water as it filters and comes out of the delivery tube.

I wish you all the best.

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