New water sterilising unit makes the undrinkable drinkable

  • The Aqua-Cura chemical free water sterilisation units are stand-alone, self-contained and lockable units which are easy to operate and be rapidly deployed, providing drinking water to about 1 000 people per day.
  • Koos Els demonstrates his invention in a rural setting. Note the clean water flowing out of the pipe.
  • The before and after results of contaminated water that was fed through an Aqua-Cure water sterilisation unit.
Date:14 August 2014 Author: Sean Woods Tags:, ,

For many communities lacking infrastructure, the only water available for consumption is either too brackish or contaminated by bacteria, viruses and toxins. In fact, most of our rural water sources are so unhygienic that just the thought of drinking the stuff is enough to make most us pampered suburbanites gag in disgust. Fortunately, the locally-developed Aqua-Cura – an automated trailer mounted water purification system – offers a practical solution to this very real dilemma.

According to inventor Koos Els, these standalone, self-contained and lockable units are easy to operate and can be rapidly deployed. Powered by petrol, diesel, solar or a combination of solar/diesel, they can also be fitted with GSM functionality –  allowing text messages to be sent reflecting info such as current flow-rate, total litres, last service date, battery voltage etc. Even better, they require no infrastructure, can be air-lifted to site should the need arise and be operated by unskilled operators.

Tests show their water flow rate is an average of 500 litres per hour. Says Els: “Based on a usage of 10 hours per day, this means small communities of 800 – 1 000 people can be provided of clean healthy drinking water per day.”

Here’s how it works

The heart of the patent-pending Aqua-Cura mobile water sterilizing unit is a sterilizer that uses an advanced oxidation process to destroy all organic material without the use of any Chemicals. Advanced Oxidation Processes rely on in-situ production of highly reactive hydroxyl radicals (OH). Els elaborates: “These reactive species are the strongest oxidants that can be applied in water and can virtually oxidize any compound present in the water matrix. We achieved this by combining high AC and DC voltages with a UV light source.” Units can also be fitted with an optional Ion-Exchanger that removes all toxic metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

Maintenance is said to be very low, and the only day to day running costs are fuel. Water is drawn from a water source and circulated through a series of filters. It then passes through the sterilising unit which destroys and removes organic matter to provide fully treated and sterilised drinking water. And the only component that requires replenishing is the filter sand, which must be changed annually.

Units can be customized according to clients’ needs. Price ranges between R200 000 to R380 000, depending on what combinations are chosen and what extra functions need to be fitted. Current sales negotiations are underway with representatives in Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, DRC Mozambique, Philippines and India.

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