Reverse osmosis (RO) is a filtration method that removes many types of large molecules and ions from solutions by applying pressure to the solution when it is on one side of a selective membrane. The result is that the solute is retained on the pressurized side of the membrane and the pure solvent is allowed to pass to the other side. To be "selective," this membrane should not allow large molecules or ions through the pores (holes), but should allow smaller components of the solution (such as the solvent) to pass freely.

DOST rolls out locally-developed water filter technology

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) recently in Muntinlupa City for the pilot testing of a new water filter technology developed by the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) of DOST.
DOST's locally-developed water purification system consists of a clay ceramic filter coated with nano-colloidal silver, an anti-microbial agent that replaces the chlorination process in traditional water filter systems. PHOTO CREDIT: Jane Tadili
Both parties agreed to collaborate in the field and performance testing of the system on the chosen beneficiaries identified by NHA. ITDI-DOST experts will provide the consultancy and technical assistance to NHA and the beneficiaries during the installation, demonstration and quality monitoring of the system.

Through the project “Production and Performance Testing of Ceramic Pot-typed Water Filter", DOST-ITDI aims to develop an efficient, stable, low cost and easy to use water purification system that can improve the quality of drinking water particularly in areas where access to potable water is difficult.

Addressing the Southville 3 residents in Muntilupa, the first beneficiaries of the water system, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo explained that the project is inline with DOST’s thrust to make local technology works for the people and to provide some solutions to the problems of the country today. “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.

The water purification system (WPS) is a simple technology that consists of a container and filtering medium, which is the ceramic pot filter (CPF). The ceramic filter is made up of red clay which is coated with nano-colloidal silver as the anti-microbial agent that replaces the chlorination process in traditional water filter systems. The ceramic pot typically sits or hangs on the top of a large plastic container, which is fitted with a tap at the bottom. A lid is placed on top of the filter to prevent contamination.

According to ITDI scientists that developed the technology, the system is capable to purify tap water, deep well water, and raw water tainted with up to 3 % suspended particles or silt and convert these into safe drinking water. ITDI experts further said that the water filter has passed the Philippine National Standards (PNS) for drinking water in terms of microbiological and chemical analysis.

ITDI Director Nuna Almanzor said that cost per unit was considered in the development of the water filter. Almanzor said that the ceramic filter is “easy to make, portable, inexpensive, user friendly, and made of local clay that passed the required physical properties of ceramic pot filters". Almanzor added that the project will not just address access to safe potable drinking water but will also provide jobs to pottery makers in the country. She said that DOST is willing to train possible manufacturers of the ceramic filters to provide additional jobs for Filipinos.

While ITDI is waiting for feedbacks from the pilot test for the possible improvement and cutting down of production costs, the agency will fabricate the CPF units to roll out to other NHA identified beneficiaries. ITDI says, at present, the units are easy to install, handle, maintain and reasonably priced.

NHA General Manager, Atty. Chito Cruz, said that NHA is very honored to work with DOST for the project. Cruz said that, apart from electricity, safe and potable drinking water has been a problem to resettlement areas due to its unavailability or contamination. But with the ceramic filter technology, Cruz said that residents will have not just water but purified drinking water at a minimal cost. “It is very laudable for DOST to undertake this project, to make water purifier affordable, potable and portable to our people," said Cruz. — TJD, GMA News


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