The German technical disaster relief organisation, THW (Technisches Hilfswerk), mobilised Berkefeld’s TWA 15 UF to remove considerable impurities from the local drinking water in Hellental.

The THW set up the mobile water treatment plant in a matter of hours and provided water for cleaning and disinfection of the town’s two reservoirs whose water quality was fluctuating strongly. They also filled each of the reservoirs with 100,000 litres of water and provided the local inhabitants with 30,000 litres of drinking water a day, for two weeks, until the problem was solved by the local utility in Stadtoldendorf.

Berkefeld’s water treatment plant with ceramic filtration contains a multiple barrier against germs, viruses and particles, can supply up to 5, 10 or 15 cubic metres of clean water per hour and is suitable for deployment worldwide. The plant includes the components of pre-filtration with disc filters, flocculation and adsorption, disinfection with ultraviolet light, depot chlorination, and drinking water storage and distribution. The various process steps can be adjusted individually to every mission and combined with each other in different ways and the plant fits in the cargo hold of every common scheduled aircraft.

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  1. I designed and tested a Simple Solar Disinfection Unit.Solar disinfection method uses the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV) to improve the microbiological quality of drinking water. Synergies induced by radiation and thermal treatment have a significant effect on the die-off rate of microorganisms. The container needs to be exposed for about 6 hours to full sunlight. If the temperature rises above 50 degrees Celsius, the disinfection process is twice faster. Earlier the PI designed and tested a mobile Solar Disinfection system which is very effective in providing safe drinking water.

    The advantages of this method is that the polished reflector background gives enhanced temperature. Since the system has Polyethylene cover it is protected from WIND EFFECT. Already 12 bottle kit which gives about 12 litres has been designed and tested. Wastewater, well water, bore water samples were tested and the results reveal 99.9% purity of water. This unit costs50 US$ and can be fabricated locally. We are recommending glass bottles since they are easy to clean and available at 2 US Cents per bottle(Used Wine bottles).The disadvantage with PET bottles is that they get softened beyond 65 degrees Celsius and scratches and dust accumulation in the groves(which are there to give strength to the bottle) are disadvantages with PET Bottles. Also there is a warning on the PET water bottles, CRUSH THE BOTTLE AFTER USE. Also DAHE a chemical present in the manufacturing of PET bottles may be harmful. Also continuous use of Used PET Bottles will have brown colour formation in the bottom which is not good for health.

    A large solar disinfection unit a one meter by one meter which is divided into 4 parts will be designed. Different materials for the frame like aluminum/wood will be tried. There will be sinusoidal stainless steel which is polished will form the background so that the glass bottles of water to be disinfected can be placed. To cover the system to protect it from wind and to simulate greenhouse effect both glass and transparent polyethylene will be tried. The unit rests on a strong stand whose inclination can be altered. Both 50/100 litre systems will be designed. Water is filled upto75% in the bottle, rinsed for 10 seconds. Solar disinfection is more efficient in water containing high levels of oxygen. Shaking the bottles could increase oxygen levels. On reacting with the water, sunlight produces highly reactive forms of oxygen. These reactive forms of oxygen kill the microorganisms. Then the bottles are filled to the full.
    Tests with well water,bore water and waste water revealed 99.9% purification in Temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius(ambient) and 65 hours exposure to Sun.

    This innovative and simple device is expected to be boon in rural areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The system received acclaim from several water experts around the globe.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)

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