Point-of-Use Water Filtration for Arsenic: A Sustainable and Simple Solution in Resource-Poor Settings

Stephen D. Passman, Tyler J. White, Roger D. Lewis
2014 International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering  
Lack of access to potable drinking water due to contamination from harmful metals is one of the most pressing public health issues globally. In areas close to mining and smelting operations, significant contamination from arsenic and other harmful metals can compound contamination from harmful microorganisms in drinking water. In response to this dual hazard, this study tests a prototype design of an improved point-of-use water filter for resource-poor areas and exposed populations. This
more » ... ations. This project builds upon previous research that has demonstrated the effectiveness of clay pot filters impregnated with silver in reducing coliform bacteria. A compatible attachment comprised of activated charcoal in the form of bone char was added to the clay pot filter with the purpose of enabling the combined filter system to remove arsenic. The experiment tested the designed attachment with source water having an arsenic concentration of 500 parts per billion (ppb) to investigate the combined filter's ability to reduce the arsenic to acceptable World Health Organization drinking water standards of 10 parts per billion or below. The results demonstrate a significant decrease in the arsenic concentration to below the 10 ppb standard with the bone char attachment, as well as a decrease in the arsenic concentration with the clay pot filter alone. These results warrant further investigation into the potential for clay pot filters with a charcoal layer to reduce arsenic concentrations in drinking water and demonstrate a potential additional benefit in arsenic removal by utilizing inexpensive bone char material in conjunction with the clay pot filter.
doi:10.24908/ijsle.v9i1.5261 fatcat:n23kjg3qizepplgin2kcchoxsm