Over the past six months, we had the opportunity to put our ideas for a large volume clean water solution to the test. Our successes from the “System Testing in Guatemala” spurred the interest of World Vision-Kenya (WV-K) via Business Connect – a global distributor of clean water solutions. WV-K has a pilot program underway, and they saw our system concept as a possible solution to help them achieve their goals. The assembly team included – from the WV-K: Collince Wasaga, Peter Ngodhe, Kennedy Obuya Odero – welder, Samwel Ouma Okello- plumber, Pauline Akinyi, Lorna Anyango, Wycliffe Omolo, Emily Rotich – from Business Connect: Daniel and Ashley Miesel – from Better Things: Mike Watkins, Mark Davis.
Initiated in 2015, WV-K is taking water from the Awach River in the Dol Kodera Forest in Homa Bay County, Kenya, with the focused goal of providing water for 100,000+ people in this region . The water harvested via river pressure and moved with gravity in an 8″ pipe, is sent to their purification complex approximately 800-900 meters from the inlet to the filter station.
The system components at this location include a chemical injection station, a flocculation track, settling tanks, a wash tank, and a clean water tank. This treatment facility utilizes the chemical Alum to weight undissolved solids in the water causing the particulates to settle at the bottom in the water tanks and the cleaner water to rise to the surface. After the Centrifuge (a process of settling tanks) and then chlorination, this water then distributes to the network, which, when finished, will stretch across 27 kilometers (photo – elements of the treatment plant), making the water available via water kiosks (photo – Kiosk). The current treatment method uses an average of 80kg of Alum per day (60 to 100kg) at the cost of $59USD per day or $21,535 per year.
They hope to use our most extensive version of the BlackBox Series filtration system, the BBUV, to eliminate their current chemical injection treatment process for not only this project but for future projects as well. (photos – Filter House construction, inlets, outlets, etc. – slider)
The challenge for us was to increase the filtration capacity of a single BBUV unit and meet the desired volume of 83m3 per hour or 1,992m3 per day.
Amplifying the design of our BlackBox High Volume (BBHV) unit to a 1″ architecture, we tripled the throughput from the BBUV´s base of 32 LPM (10 GPM) to as much as 113 LPM (30 GPM). The BBUV unit’s key feature, beyond its filtration capacity, is the reconfigurability to function in parallel as a group of filters – effectively increasing its volume capacity to filter water. In our testing, we had seen on the high end as much as 113 LPM (30 GPM) at 20 PSI; and on the low end, 90 LPM (24 GPM) at 40 PSI move through a single filter of our design.
Two banks – 6 unit BBUV systems were introduced into their purification system to achieve WV-K’s desire for 83m3 per or 1,992m3 per per day requires 1,383 LPM. (photo – BBUV). Each bank has the potential capacity to process 678 LPM * 2 units meet a possible flow rate of 1,356 LPM. This variance was within the margin of success, at the time of committing to the project.
After the project commitments, we became aware of a few critical details.
WV-K built a building to accommodate the 2 – banks of BBUVs units. Using two – 4″ supply lines, from the 8″ pipe are fed into each of the respective banks of BBUV units, bypassing the existing facilities. These supply lines run from points before the chemical injection and then connect after the settling tanks.
In the development of the BBUV filters, this was the first system of its size placed in active operation. The results were varied, both less than favorable and favorable.
Less than favorable results:
Summary / Next Steps:
theBlackBox Series water filtration systems produce clean water. They are practical for a variety of applications that include cleaning wells or municipal water systems, purifying natural water sources such as lakes and rivers, and use in industries such as agriculture, fish farming, and potable water supply. We will continue to test our units on-site in Guatemala, Kenya, and other locations.