HEART joins hands with Potters for Peace

This September is training time.

Michelle White is going to Madison, Wisconsin this September for a two week intensive training workshop on all the ins and outs of building a filter factory.  While there she will learn the biology of water-borne infectious diseases. She will learn how to make a water filter out of clay, colloidal silver, and a combustible substance that, when fired, removes all fecal coliform, e-coli, giardia, malaria, and other bacteria. Also in the training is learning how to operate all the equipment. Included is training on marketing, distributing and advertising. And most important, she will learn how to teach the families the proper way to care for the filter.

Building a Filter Factory in Haiti

Every year 1.7 million people, mainly children under the age of five, die from diarrhea which is caused by unsafe water. The objective of the Potters for Peace Water Filter Project is to make safe drinking water available by helping set up workshops that will produce ceramic water filters made from local materials. These filters are low-tech and low-cost and eliminate approximately 99.88% of water-born disease agents.

Since 1998, Potters for Peace has been assisting in the production of a low-tech, low-cost, colloidal silver-enhanced ceramic water purifier (CWP) throughout the world and ceramic water purifiers based on the Potters for Peace technology package are now produced at over 50 independent factories in over 30 countries. These filters are the highest-rated product for rural point-of-use water treatment (Smart Disinfection Solutions, 2010).

Here is a short video that explains how the filters work and gives some history:

Bruno Sanga explains the manufacturing process.

Bruno Sanga explains the manufacturing process.

A ceramic water filter is a simple, bucket-shaped (11” wide by 10” deep) clay vessel that is made from a mix (by weight) of local terra-cotta clay and sawdust or other combustibles, such as rice husks. The filters are formed by using a press.

The simplest press utilizes a hand-operated hydraulic truck jack and two-piece aluminum mold. Filters are fired to about 860 deg. C. and the milled, screened combustible material burns out, leaving porous clay walls. The filters are tested to make sure they meet a standard rate of filtration and then they are coated with colloidal silver. The combination of fine pore size and the bactericidal properties of colloidal silver produce an effective filter.

When in use, the fired and treated filter is placed in a five-gallon plastic or ceramic receptacle with a lid and faucet. Water passes through the clay filter element at the rate of 1.5 to 2.5 liters per hour.

Pricing for ready-to-use filter units, including the receptacle, is determined by local production costs and is usually between $15 to $25. Replacement clay filters will cost $4 to $6. A basic production facility with three or four workers can produce about fifty filters a day.

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