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Design and Performance for A Novel Low-Tech Water Filter System

E. McBean1 *, and C. Farrow1

  1. School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 206 369 3679. E-mail address: (E. McBean).


A low-tech water treatment system with a novel configuration is described which delivers safe water (>3 log-removal of E. coli), has low cost, provides safe water in quantities for a household for substantial time periods, is easy to maintain, robust against breakage, and avoids recontamination. Due to the unique design, the Guelph Water Filtration system (Guelph Water Filter) remains functional for periods substantially longer than previous technologies, providing ~6 years for delivery of treated water at flow rates exceeding 1 L/hr (for low turbidity (0.05 ~ 1.00 NTU) source water). The ceramic filter components of the system are easily replaceable in the filter housing and the Guelph Water Filter is feasible as a village-level production/employment opportunity. The long-term performance of the ceramic filter component of the Guelph system improves longevity of performance by reducing clogging and enables two filter elements to be used in a single filter housing (doubling the surface area through which filtration occurs). Placing the filter in a large reservoir (pail) also significantly reduces the frequency of the need to refill raw water (alternative filter designs require refilling and monitoring multiple times per day).

Keywords: low-tech, ceramic filter, clay pot filter, point-of-use water filtration, Guelph Water Filter

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