2006-10-09

Potters Without Borders

Potters Without Borders (PWB) is a newly formed Canadian NGO, which is involved in the research and development of ceramic water filters for use in developing countries.

The ceramic water filter provides a low-cost way of producing safe drinking water from contaminated sources such as open wells, ponds, canals, streams or even flood water. The filter has proven 99% effective in eliminating microbiological contaminants.

The filter is flower-pot shaped and made of porous clay designed to allow water to flow through a rate of 1.5 to 2.6 liters an hour, sufficient for the drinking water needs of a family of four. The clay filter is coated with colloidal silver solution, a proven anti-bacterial agent. The silver is not transferred to the water as it passes through the filter and has no effect on filter users. The clay filter element is set in a clay or plastic receiving vessel, which protects the filter element from damage and stores the purified water. The filter element is washed regularly using a soft cloth or brush to unclog the clay pores and maintain an acceptable flow rate. Eventually, progressive clogging will cause a permanent reduction in filter flow rate, so the clay unit must be replaced after one or two years (depending on the quality of the input water). The filter can be produced by local potters. The purifier was originally developed in Guatemala in 1981 and has been promoted extensively since 1998 by Potters for Peace, an NGO active in Nicaragua.

 

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