Abstract

Background: Given the need for treating polluted drinking water, our NGO Easy Water for Everyone has produced pure water in remote villages without power and achieved health benefits. With the goal of reaching more needy populations we report our experience and successful implementation in Ghana. Methods: In 20 villages polluted water is pumped every few days to an elevated water tank connected to a filtration device leading to a faucet. Repurposed hemodialyzers with polysulfone membranes, having a filter pore size of 0.003 micrometers, prevent passage of pathogens. Results: Gravity from a 3 m height pushes water through the membrane whenever the faucet is open. Backflushing of the hemodialyzer membrane 3 times daily removes built-up of organic material and maintains flow rates of 250 L/hour for at least 2 years. Filtered water has been culture negative. Management of problems and optimization are reported. The 5-year cost per village of <1,500 population averaged <2 US$ per day.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hemodialyzers filter polluted water into drinking water in 20 villages with no electricity.

  • The polysulfone membrane's pore size rejects pathogens including bacteria & viruses.

  • The documented reduction in diarrhea is obvious to villagers.

  • The cost per village (<1,000 people) for pathogen-free water is <$2/day.

  • The simplicity of gravity-force and its benefits encourages self-sufficiency for sustainability.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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