WHEN asked the difference between water passed through a standardised ultra-filtration plant and a Water Security water disinfection system, Terry Smith, president of Water Security Corporation (Water Security) replied: “The most important characteristic of safe drinking water is pathogen free. With ultra-filtration membrane filters in rural systems, you’re the canary, you’ll know they failed when people start getting sick.”
Despite strict government regulations and progressive water-filtration technology, water piped to urban homes can still contain disease-bearing pathogens, what more to say in rural areas where water sources are untreated and water filtration systems can be inadequate.
For Smith, ultra and micro filtration technology is not a reliable method of water purification, saying: “Backwashing or backflushing compromises the membrane filter’s integrity, and when it fails, you can have a cholera outbreak or another bird flu outbreak on your hands”.
Water disinfection then, is a big part of Water Security’s remedy and together with SAFEWATER Asia Sdn Bhd and World Wide Water Ltd, New Zealand, they have launched their water purification systems in Kuching.
Featuring a range of water purification systems designed specifically for disaster relief efforts, application in remote rural areas, or for residential use, these state-of-the-art water disinfection systems guarantee a reduction of viruses in raw water by 99.99 per cent and bacteria by 99.9999 per cent, the effective removal of particulate matter, herbicides and pesticides, as well as heavy metals.
All systems offered by Safewater are incorporated with Water Security’s patent-pending disinfection process known as Multi Barrier Technology (MBT), a combination of iodinated resin filters, a charged depth filter, and iodine scrubber resins known as Iodosorb, the only resin technology that economically removes all species of iodine from treated water before consumption.
MBT depends on iodinated resin instead of electromechanically injected chlorine to kill bacteria and viruses, making these systems far more reliable methods of disinfecting contaminated water in rural environments.
“Chlorine is primarily used in large municipal systems where complex injection systems can be continually monitored by a staff of people. Unlike chlorine, iodine can be easily deposited on ion exchange resin where the flow of water across the resin deposits the appropriate amount of halogen (iodine) in the water. In addition, unlike chlorine, iodine does not react with organic matter in the water producing Tri- halo Methanes (THM), a carcinogenic material.”
The systems may not turn water into wine but they accomplish a much greater purpose — turning otherwise unsanitary drinking water into safe drinking water in a world where two million children die of water-borne diseases each year.
Water Security’s cartridge based water disinfection system is based on the water disinfection technology developed for the NASA space programme. As such, the resins have been used on all the space shuttles and are now included in the recycling system utilised onboard the International Space Station.
Water Security Corporation has the only Space Certified Technology for producing drinking water.
As such, the invention still maintains a lot of its space-going predecessor’s design specifications such as the capacity to eliminate pathogens, the ability to work without the use of hazardous chemicals (ie chlorine/bromine/ozone), without electricity and be simple, safe and reliable to use. It’s the perfect blueprint for use in a rural community.
Today, Water Security offers both a portable and an engineered solution to the problem of poor access to clean drinking water and has supplied water to earthquake victims in Bakalot, Pakistan, an isolated village in the mountains of the Dominican Republic and war-torn villages in Northern Iraq, converting water in contaminated wells and water sources into safe drinking water.
And that’s why Jeffery Jong, the managing director of SAFEWATER Asia Sdn Bhd, has chosen to be the exclusive partner for this water purification technology in Southeast Asia in his bid to contribute back to society.
“I really believe this will enhance the lives of people in rural communities,” he said, comparing the immediate applicability of this water system to a conventional water treatment system.
“Conventional water treatment systems take up huge amounts of power and are therefore not practical in a rural area: the cost is too high and it requires high maintenance.”
In addition, Safewater systems only have a small footprint, making them perfect for mobility in both rural and disaster relief situations.
Closer to home, the villagers of Kampung Salak, an isolated island of Santubong, Kuching — dependent solely on well water and rain water harvesting systems for their daily usage — have experienced the benefits of a pedal powered water disinfection system for a week and they feel the difference almost immediately.
From safe and better-tasting drinking water to better-tasting food, the number of villagers using the pedal powered system mushroomed from a trial of 10 households to the entire village comprising 600 inhabitants.
“What’s also great about this system is the fact that it’s user-friendly. You don’t have to be an expert to check the iodine levels on-site in real time,” Jong added, explaining how it takes just a simple iodine test to check for the presence of iodine.
“Conversely, you can also check if iodine is coming through the drinking water by testing the drinking water. This ability to easily check if our systems are producing safe drinking water onsite virtually distinguishes us from all other systems currently available.
“One can check in real time whether or not our systems are producing pathogen-free water whereas other systems would require lengthy laboratory analysis. Our competition do not have this critical ability and ¡thus you will only know the system has failed when people become ill from drinking contaminated water.”
Besides being capable of passing the US EPA protocol for water purifiers, a standard some technologies cannot meet (ie — Ultrafiltration), Water Security’s technology statistically produces pathogen- free water up to 284 times more reliably than alternative water purification technologies based on Mean Time Before Failure analysis.
“This is because our systems, depending on system size, relies on little or no electrical power to operate and have significantly fewer moving parts. This makes Safewater systems the most suitable solution to provide safe dependable drinking water to rural communities,” he said.
To date, SAFEWATER has already distributed 11 systems to the National Disaster Coordinating Council of the Philippines. “We expect to secure further orders for our larger capacity systems when we demonstrate them to other Government Ministries of the Philippines in late February.”
For more enquiries on these water purification systems, contact SAFEWATER Asia Business development executive Diana Chendai at 082-336644 or firstname.lastname@example.org.