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Shane Gladwin

CSEF Report

23/03/15

With approximately 783 million people around the world lacking


access to clean drinking water there must be change (UN Water ). To
address this change a biological and physical water treatment
solution was created by the name of Light Bio-Sand filters.
Light Bio-Sand filters are a type of water treatment system that is
an adaptation of slow sand filters. Bio-Sand filters use a combination
of biological and physical processs to remove bacteria to purify the
water. The main source of filtration, the Bio Sand is not technically
sand, however just has sand like texture. Originally bio sand starts
of as gravel, which is later on crushed (Mendell). The entire filtration
system consists of many layers, 4 in total, on the bottom layer we
have coarse gravel which prevents the sand from mixing with the
water, supports the upper layer and stops the water from entering
the drainage pipes (CAWST). Above it is fine gravel, which supports
the bio sand layers above which prevents it from entering the
drainage pipes and on top of the fine gravel is the bio sand
(CAWST). The bio sand slowly kills the bacteria as the bacteria get
stuck to the sand as it passes down the bio sand (CAWST). At the
top of the filtration layers there is a diffuser plate, which stops the
water, which is being poured in from affecting/damaging any of the
layers underneath (CAWST). Also, the diffuser plate allows the water
to drip down slowly into the layers beneath ensuring that the water
is properly purified and not rushed through the system. Although
there are multiple layers all the layers work as one, as the water
travels deeper down the filtration process the amount of oxygen
slowly dissipates causing a lack of oxygen, which eventually kills the
bacteria (Mendell). Once the water reaches the bottom it collects. To
get the water to pump out another bucket of water must be added
so then the water flows out the tube through the use of gravity
(Mendell). Due to this process, a constant use of this filtration
system is required, water should be poured into the system at least
once a day however not continuously in order to keep it clean and to
maintain it (Mendell).
With mainly rural areas lacking the access to clean and safe drinking
water a major factor in making sure of the success of Bio-Sand
filters is its cost and how people can afford it. Light bio-sand filters
come in at a slightly cheaper rate than Heavy Bio-Sand Filters with
its total cost of 50$ (Mendell). The reasons that Light Bio-sand filters
are much cheaper are because of the cheap materials that are used,
such as commonly used PVC Pipes (Mendell). The added availability
of materials allows for a faster rate of production making it available
to more of the population. In comparison to this Heavy Bio-Sand

Shane Gladwin

CSEF Report

23/03/15

filters use concrete as a base material. The use of concrete as a


main material makes mass-producing this filtration system difficult,
as a metal mold is required to shape the filter (BioSandFilters). Not
only this however it makes the filtration system heavy and bulky
which makes availability and transport expensive.

Yet the villagers that buy these are given an added advantage. In
Cambodia, villagers only have to pay 6$ as the rest of the cost gets
funded by multiple NGOs such as C.L.E.A.R Cambodia who work
closely with (Mendell). The 6$ that the villagers pay ensure a sense
of ownership. Along with that the villagers now have motivation to
maintain and keep the Bio-Sand filters working as otherwise it would
be just a big waste of money (Mendell).
In essence Light Bio sand filters are great clean water filtration
systems. While using light and inexpensive materials such as PVC,
Light Bio sand filters make for a greater alternative to the more
commonly used Heavy bio sand filters. The Light Bio sand filter
comes with 4 biological and physical filtration layers including a
diffuser plate which allows water to slowly drip into the other layers,
a bio sand layer to kill all pathogens and filter the water, a fine
gravel layer and a coarse gravel layer to support the bio sand and to
ensure it doesnt mix with the water.

Bibliography

UN Water . Water Cooperation - Facts and Figures. 09 03 15


<http://www.unwater.org/water-cooperation-2013/watercooperation/facts-and-figures/en/>.
BioSandFilters. Bio Sand Filters.
<http://www.biosandfilter.org/biosandfilter/index.php/item/269>.
CAWST. Biosand Filter. 19 03 15
<http://www.cawst.org/resources/biosand-filter>.
Mendell, Jennifer. "P.h.D." Light Biosand Filters. Shane Gladwin. 10
03 15.

Shane Gladwin

CSEF Report

23/03/15

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