Amway Partners to Provide Safe Water in Haiti

Jan 28, 2010

Ken Conrad, a Senior Research Scientist who works with Amway’s eSpring water filter technology, recently updated us on an innovative partnership that is bringing safe water to Haiti. – Jesse

It’s about people helping people in need.

Amway R&D personnel volunteered their time to build 300 chlorination and safe storage systems over the past week. The devices were shipped to Cascade Engineering in Grand Rapids, then to Jacksonville, Florida where the US Navy will be delivering these to Port-au-Prince through its “Project Handclasp.”

A local nonprofit partner in Haiti, Pure Water for the World, will be helping install and train users once they arrive. The plan now is to install groups of HydrAid biosand filter systems in schools and clinics. The remaining systems will be sent over the next several weeks.

This has been a unique partnership among several companies and aid agencies with the goal of providing safe water to disaster victims in Haiti. Amway teamed up with the Safe Water Team, a West Michigan nonprofit organization, and Triple Quest, a Joint Venture of Cascade Engineering and Windquest Group, to supply 1,000 HydrAid BioSand filter systems to Haitian earthquake victims.

Biosand filter technology used in developing countries has been around for over ten years. However, the design was enhanced for disaster relief with additional disinfection technology by Amway engineers. The addition includes a new tablet disinfection chamber and a safe storage container including a carbon filter.

The system works based on gravity and does not require electricity or water pressure. Five gallons of raw water, typically from rivers or lakes, is poured in the top of the HydrAid and filters through in a batch process. Water then passes through the chlorinator and into the portable storage container.

The additional disinfection helps overcome limitations of the biosand filter namely; 1) users need to wait for up to 14 days for the biosand to be effective for new installations, 2) overuse in disaster situations and 3) recontamination of treated water. The carbon filter in the storage container then removes the chlorine taste as water is dispensed.  This new chlorination helps increase the effectiveness of the system to kill bacteria and viruses by greater than 99.99%. The new technology addition has patents pending.

 

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