Saturday, April 2, 2011

DOST creates drinking water filter technology to NHA resettlement community

Venancio G. Dumayo shells out P35 for drinking water every three days or less. The cost dams up in a month, bursting a hole in the six-member family’s marginal income. But like the hundreds of families that make up the new Southville 3 community, Dumayo apparently had little choice.
Southville 3 is a community of former settlers along the perilous tracks of the Philippine National Railways traversing the fast developing Muntinlupa City to the Southern Luzon provinces.
The National Housing Authority has built the austere community with 7,000 row housing units in Muntinlupa’s hilly inner borough, just south of the ill-famed national penitentiary.
Recently, Dumayo and 499 other families received “ceramic pot water filter” units developed by scientists at the Industrial Technology Development Institute, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology.
They will be the first to use the clay based water filter units as part of pilot testing agreement between DOST-ITDI and the NHA.
The ITDI water filter is made of red clay coated with nano-colloidal silver, an anti-microbial agent that is more efficient than the “chlorination process in traditional water filter system,” ITDI explained.  The pot-shaped filter is placed on top of a plastic container that holds the filtered water.
This simple science tested solution can “reduce e coli count to less than 1 percent”, DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo told Southville 3 residents following the signing of a memorandum of agreement on the project with NHA General Manager Chito M. Cruz.
Montejo reminded Dumayo and other recipients of the water filter units that their feedback is important for possible performance improvement of the units after the pilot test.
But Dumayo is already buoyed by the “big savings that I can squeeze” from using the ITDI water filter.
ITDI Director Nuna Almanzor said that cost per unit was considered in the development of the water filter. The development team came out with a filter system that’s “easy to make, portable, inexpensive, user friendly, and made of local clay that passed the required physical properties of ceramic pot filters”.
Moreover, the ITDI water filter has “passed the Philippine National Standards for drinking water in terms of microbiological and chemical analysis”.
It is capable to purify tap water, deep well water, and raw water tainted with up to 3 percent suspended particles or silt and convert these into safe drinking water”, the ITDI said in a statement.
Under the MOA, experts from DOST-ITDI will provide technical assistance to the NHA and the beneficiaries starting from installation to performance monitoring of the water filters.
“Access to potable water is one of the major development concerns of President Aquino. What we brought here today is a practical solution to that concern. We really hope that we can roll this out to other communities nationwide”, Montejo added. [S&T Media Service]             


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