Water Treatment

Cleaning Salty and Hard Water

Rose Wambua
Started by Rose Wambua on
16 Jun 2014 at 08:48
Director, Japmor Enterprise
Know-how: Consulting & Services, Filtration

Dear friends how can one reduce the amount of salt, and soften the water from a well in a remote village where there is no electricity ? your suggestions are very much appreciated..


Alisha Voght
Do you get some water softer salt there? they are cheap you can just use them, show the water test to retailer and get a proper one.
Rose Wambua
Dear Alisha,

Thank you for your response. I am from Kenya and i have not seen any softer salt here. Can you suggest some names so i can look around. Where are you from. Can i arrange with you to have some?
Nathalie  Board
If its a household treatment you want to have then boiling the water and condensation is the cheapest method most of the rural community does. But at large scale Magnetic polarization can be adopted.
Rose Wambua
Thanks for your reply Nathalie.
Juzer Jangbarwala
Rose, only way is to extract water from the salts through solar evaporation. Unfortunately, this is not cheap. I have installed systems using pervaporation using solar thermal heat and hydrophobic membranes that work on a very simple principle of vapor pressure differential across a membrane that only allows vapor to pass, no water.
Another way that has been accomplished is through "pouches" of Forward Osmosis. Concentrated sugar solutions are diluted through the membranes via the osmotic pressure created by the sugar solution. Unfortunately, you get a "gatorade" as a drink, not a glass of pure water. It would be nice to discuss how much money, what capacity, etc.
Rose Wambua
Dear Juzer, thanks for responding. We are looking for something cheap that the villagers can afford. This is a common problem in a number of villages being served by drilled boreholes. How much are you talking about on the higher side?
Juzer Jangbarwala
Well, the proverbial how long is a piece of string? Not trying to be cynical, but the first ten units of 50 gallons per day cost me about $10,000 each. I wasn't interested in selling, I was donating to an NGO. Give me some capacity, and location, I can help you design. As far as the components go, they are all off the shelf, extremely commoditized, price competitive. I anticipate you will find this affordable to do. What we have found is most developing countries have microfinancing available. The village elders can be responsible for the payment. In my endeavours in Pakistan, the default rate over 5 years was < 2%. The main advantage I have tried to do is no dependence on energy, pretreatment and frequent membrane changes. These membrane are not subjected to high pressure or high velocity at the interface, so they hardly foul. I have often thought of continuing this work, making submerged membranes with a chamber within, etc. Good luck. Let me know if I can help.
Rose Wambua
Thank you for sharing Leonardo. Can you tell me softeners known to you and where to get them ?
Leonardo Zanata
hello. Ion exchange don't use energy at all to occur... and softeners can be manual operated and regenerated as well... but, fell free to try all other techniques that are available.

Rose Wambua
Thank you so much for your comment Florent. How do i get to know more about "magnetic polarization" and how to use it? Again thank you
Park Wan Wan
Magnetic Water Treatment directs water to pass through a strong magnetic field. By placing two strong neodymium magnets on either side of the incoming pipe, all the water passes through a strong, uniform magnetic field.

Magnetic water treatment does not remove any calcium from the water. Technically, it is still just as hard as before it passed through the magnets. It claims to change the structure of the deposits that form, making them tend to be less apt to stick to surfaces. you can go to any online market webiste and ask these manufactures to instal the unit at your place. I guess this is the best solution which will serve your problem.

Rose Wambua
Dear Park,

Thanks for taking time to reply. I will check out on the sites.
Florent Perrin

Thank you for your question, I will try to answer at least parly.
There is a way to 'soften' the water without electricity using techniques like ours named 'magnetic polarization'. It's not 'chimical' softening but physical, this means that calcium carbonate remains in the water but is neutral (meaning does not make scale). Such system does not require electricity.
The best would be to have a water analysis in order to provide a more accurate answer.
Regarding salt, I have no other knowledge than reverse osmosis, but this requires some electricity as you know.
Don't hesitate to exchange on this topic if needed
Best regards
Florent PERRIN
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