Low-cost biological sand (biosand) filters can help provide safe drinking water to people in rural and peri-urban areas in developing countries, who are being forced to drink contaminated water due to lack of safer access, suggest experts.
Nearly 1.1 billion people have been drinking contaminated water, with approximately 2.2 million people without safe access dying each year, and most of them are children under 5 years of age.
The biosand filters are capable of dramatically improving the quality of drinking water and has also gained acceptance by the World Health Organization as a viable household water treatment technology,
In the new treatment technique, water slowly percolates through a layer of sand, where microorganisms form a bacteriological purification zone.
This process filters harmful pathogens from contaminated water.
To use the filter, a person simply pours contaminated water into the household biosand filter and immediately collects treated water.
The filters will do more than provide safe, clean drinking water.
According to Michael Lea, author of the article, "the filters will provide a cost-effective practical approach to combat poverty and inequality."
The article providing detailed instructions for constructing and the using low-cost technique is published in Current Protocols in Microbiology.