Low cost solution to remove both pathogen and chemicals including lead from drinking water at household level?


Hi everyone, I am part of Hope for Children team implementing Water & Sanitation project in Namuwongo slum (Kampala City, Uganda). The slum gets water from National Water & Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) which is inadequate. So over 60% of population directly rely on groundwater-based water source like wells. However, water quality tests indicate that the groundwater is contaminated by faecal and heavy metal (lead) contaminants. Lead concentration range from 0.1 - 0.2mg/l where as 0.05mg/l is the maximum permissible value. Therefore to get safe drinking water, we intended to introduce and promote household level drinking water treatment methods. Regardless of the water source, it must become safe before drinking (both chemically and biologically).

I have looked at some discussion on the water network about this topic, they are great, but most of the solutions are limited to disinfection against pathogens. So can anyone suggest us some water treatment methods at household level capable of chemical and microbial removal?

Best regards

Draleke Titus



Richard  Fishman
The magnesium oxide (MgO) used in the Prilly Pure Water bags actual places a positive charge in the water. This electromagnetic charge shatters the magnetic bond that holds together any Totally Dissolved Solids (TDS), and heavy metals like chlorine, fluoride, lead, copper and also the Emerging Contaminants such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals. These contaminants and pollutants are then gassed out of the container.
This is a living water. The pH of the water is raised to 8.7, high alkaline, high oxygen and the water is structured "thin" so as to more readily penetrate the cell membrane and to deliver oxygen, nutrients and pure water and flush out your toxins.
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The MgO has been processed at 700 degrees Fahrenheit and made to be more ceramic like a marble in water that never dissolves, never wears out and never needs to be replaced.
No expensive equipment, No costly replacement filters, No electricity, and No more bottled water.
This a 1 time investment of only $40 for Water Freedom, and the Final Barrier between Invisible Bad Water and YOUR lips.
Richard, thank you for sharing this information. I would be glad to know more about the Prilly Pure Water bags and how to access them. My contact: draleketm@gmail.com
Paul Jacob
How about a simple 2 stage RO system (with activated carbon filter), they are commercially available as a package system. Various sizes are available at household levels. This is if electricity is available.

But if you planning to do research then we can speak more. If you can give the details of the water quality. In the past we developed a hand driven membrane system for emergency situation. But I am not sure heavy metal can be removed by such system. As its a UF based system.

I think this problem seems to be interesting. Hopefully you can share more info.
Dr  Abe Beagles
Good Day this is Dr Abe Beagles from Cal-Neva Water Quality Research Institute in California. Back in 2003 we developed a technology that was meant for the frac water that was coming back from the Barnett Shale Natural Gas wells in Texas. It is called Electro-coagulation and it will remove 99.7% of all heavy metals and it will kill any virus, bacteria, ecoli or eboli in the water. It will only need to be filtered after passing theough the system to remove the sediment from the heavy metal removal. If you go to www.eco-web.com and go to the Authors Tab you will find my white papers on this technology in the 5th to the 9th slots under Authors. If one of these systems were put on every well you would have no problem. We have two 100 GPM units built and ready to ship at the present time and they can be purchased at a resanoble price. My email is gerrybeagles@aol.com and my phone here in Sierra Leone is 232 078 402 353 which is where I am at this time. My Skype is "abescousin1" so if you want to find out more about how to solve your problem give me a call.
lyseconcept jean Marius
Toutes les bactéries sont des bactéries utiles et aucune parmi toutes est pathogène. Toutes les bactéries ont un rôle à jouer dans le développement et la gestion de la vie sur terre. Certaines bactéries sont là pour l'élimination des mayons faibles, la séléction naturelle de la vie. D'autres sont là pour participer à la destructuration de la matière pour lui permettre d'être recyclée, aucune n'est pathogène. Certaines vivent dans des milieux agressifs et doivent s'adapter à leur milieu.
Concernant les matériuax lourds
le sol en a besoin, l'homme en rejette et ce n'est donc pas un problème plus que cela.
le probléme rsulte dans la concentration des amtériaux lourds sur des zones de traitement qui en fait une véritable pollution

All the bacteria are useful bacteria and none among all is pathogenic. All the bacteria play a role to play in the development and the management of the life on ground. Certain bacteria are there for the elimination of mayons weak, the natural selection of the life. Others are there to take part in the destructuring of the matter to enable him to be recycled, none is not pathogenic. Some live in corrosive conditions and must adapt to their medium.
Concerning the heavy matériuax
the ground needs some, the man rejects some and it is thus not a problem more than that.
the problem rsulte in the concentration of amtériaux heavy on zones of treatment which in fact a true pollution
Mark Owen
Hi Titus, we produce a sunlight activated nanotechnology mesh that is capable of complete disinfection, destruction of chemical contaminants through and advanced oxidation process, and will remove heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury. It is implemented in various products, but at the household level we recommend the SolarBag, which has been deployed in 60 countries and last year was awarded the IWA's Global Honour award for long term village level household use in Africa. Send me an email at mark.owen@puralytics.com and I'd be glad to work with you. More on the SolarBag - http://www.puralytics.com/html/solarBagNGO.php
Hi Mark Owen,
I checked the website you proposed and I feel solarbags may solve the problem we have. Thank you very much for the suggestion.

Best regards

Aníbal Sánchez Caro
Hi. Sun heated destillation devices are "easy" to make, "cheap", and will remove most of the contaminants, both chemical and biological.
Edwin Ricarte
1. Prepare a rectifier
2. Make 2 pipes of different diameters
3. Put 1 inside, attached your anode end to the inner pipe
4. Attach your cathode end to the bigger pipe
5. As you switch on the rectifier, the Pb will adhere to the surfaces of the bigger pipe
6. The output of this pipe must undergo chlorination to eliminate pathogens.

Hope this helps.
Hi Edwin, Thank you very much. The solution seem straight forward, but the problem I have to figure is source of electricity, as the 98% of the homes lack electricity. Perhaps my rectifier should be powered by solar?

Best regards

Edwin Ricarte
Hi Titus.
great if you can establish a reservoir where the water consumers can obtain the safe drinking water. In this case, the control is much easier and you wont need much capital for a rectifier(not more than $1T). In the reservoir, you can do the chlorination.I will be glad to suggest a design for your project.
Thank you Edwin, let me figure out how I could secure place for the reservoir as access to land is quite complicated here. I like the idea, although , such centralized operations would require establishment of scheme management structure, which is a bit tricky in this informal settlement, given that it is regarded illegal settlement by government.Water vending is a big business dominated by local leaders and politicians. That is why we intended to avoid establishing sometime community will not draw the intended benefits.

My email address is draleketm@gmail.com, I share more if you could email me.

Best regards
najib abichedid
Hello Titus,

I suggest to try to identify and remove the lead source and maybe you can treat or reduce it without the need of sophisticated treatment process. You can collaborate with the ministries in your region they must know where lead come from..maybe from industries, so they follow the requirement of treating their ww before discharge into streams or ground.

In the houses:
Lead can come from an old distribution system (lead pipes) and faucets and others.. so you can replace lead pipes into PE pipes etc,..
Lead can come from an old submersible pump ( if water is pumped from a deep well): it can be changed.

What is the hardness level of your water? is it soft water?

Anders Brummerstedt
1) what is low cost?
2) Waterstillar Family will distill water and remove any biological and chemical/solluble/salty/metal content.
see www.waterstillar.com
Dear Anders, thank you for your suggestion, we shall check that according. By low cost, we mean initial purchase and installation cost is not very high and recurrent cost is quite minimal as it is intended for vulnerable and poor families. Average family size in area is 6 persons per household, so an investment not exceeding US$100 per person that guarantee them safe water supply for not less than 5 years without major servicing.

Best regards
Anders Brummerstedt
Dear Titus, for that situation, the WaterStillar products will be too expensive.
Leonardo Zanata
Hello Mr Draleke.

I agree with Mr. Xavier. But I understand your point too... people need a quick, cheap and efective solution now.... to avoid more health problems.

So, my sugestion is the same then Sameer: Clorination wiht carbon adsorption. It is cheap, quick and easy. I really don't know how is gona be the efficiency of the treatment, But I really think that you can try. Try to use carbon block filters in each home, like this:


but remember: If you do first the clorination, the carbon block will also remove the free clorine from water... But if do first the filtration, the bacterial will grow in the filter...

You can also do a big treatment system, with a UV system before the central filter (sand and Carbon), with a post clorinatin.... well, right me is you need to discuss more... Cya!
Dear Leonardo, thank you very much for your suggestion. Are there distributors for these products (carbon blocks) in my region (East Africa), Uganda in particular?

Best regards
Leonardo Zanata
I don't know my friend, You'll have to look for it on internet... sorry. CYA!
Thank you Xavier for your comment!

The lead (0.2mg/l) was detected in spring water (groundwater source) where the community collect their drinking water from. It is not contamination from home. Therefore, the solution we are looking for is removal of such chemicals and pathogens through water treatment preferably at household level.

Best regards
eros Kaw
the house hold level will be expensive. treat at the source.

it will be cheaper. would you have a pond or tank at source? or it a pool?

i can help. how large is the community?
Dear Kaw, thank you for your offer to help. The community comprise of informal settlement along a railway line and wetland, covering about 3km distance in terms of length. They have 9 protected springs and 13 un protected wells located along the settlement. Due to complexity with land owners (although government is fully aware of existence of this settlement, it is regarded illegal, yet we feel they deserve services even if they are illegal), obtaining permits for such installation might be tricky. Assessment also indicate water vending is a serious business, although major can not afford. Therefore, we are thinking of targeting the most vulnerable families (e.g. people living with HIV,etc) with water treatment unit installation, so that no matter where they collected their water from, they will use the water filter to make it safe for drinking.

The estimated population in the area is 15,000 individual and these water sources are relatively far from each other. Water vendors make about UGX 206,000,000 (US$ 82,400) annually from their business and they comprise of local leaders in the area. One of the lesson we learnt from toilets construction was that as these community leaders own private toilets which generate them annual of about UGX 164,200,400 (US$ 65,680), they frustrated our project because our toilets were expected to be access for free.

With above, do you feel household level treatment will not be a better option?

Best regards

eros Kaw
Dear Titus,

it depends on your objectives. if its to do battle with these local leaders who sell water and operate toilets, I have no comment as its beyond my know how.

however, if it is to stop water contamination and preserve these water sources for future generations. then it may be better to work with these local leaders who do provide a service. you and i can help them have better sanitation so that it does lower the disease profile and stop contamination of the local supply. this I feel is best done, not at the household level, but at the source of contamination.

doing it will local leaders may make it more sustainable.
Xavier Doló Masnou
Hello, the question is that does that lead in drinking water at home? I think first you have to avoid contaminating the waters, for after not having to decontaminate, perhaps the solution does not pass through the water decontamination, defend and excuse my technology, we can produce enough water in homes, for less expense than the cost of appropriately.
It is cleaner, the cleaner but that is least dirty.

Have a nice day!!
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