The Lindbergh Foundation Believes that Innovative Science and Technology Hold the Key to Addressing Humanity’s Environmental and Productivity Challenges

Dr. Kristin Jellison

Dr. Kristen Jellison

Optimizing the Biosand Filter for Treating Household Drinking Water in Developing Countries

Category: Water, Health

More than one in six people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water, which translates to an estimated 443 million school days lost annually and one half of all the worlds’ hospital beds occupied by patients suffering from water-related diseases.  Diarrheal disease linked to unsafe water and sanitation leads to more than one million deaths annually, with the vast majority of these deaths among children under the age of five.

The concrete biosand filter has been an effective household water treatment option because it produces high quality drinking water, is durable, and is easy to use and maintain.  However, at a cost of $10 - $30 USD, it is still too expensive for some of the poorest households in the developing world, and the size and weight of the filter make it difficult to transport.  In order to expand the reach of water purification to all corners of the world, Dr. Jellison plans to design and build two modified biosand filters, one using a 5-gallon bucket and the other a 2-gallon bucket.  She will then test the designs for their effectiveness in removing turbidity, total coliforms, E. coli, parasites, and viruses to determine whether biosand filtration can still be effective with smaller, lighter, less expensive units.  The success of this project will enable more people to work and attend school, contributing to the welfare of their families and the productivity of their communities.

Read Dr. Jellison's final report here (PDF)

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