Safe Water Story #2: Building A Better Mousetrap

January 15, 2015

 

The water filter designed by John Griffith does not catch mice, but it does do an exceedingly good job of catching just about everything else that makes water unsafe to drink.

 

The Aquafilter was first deployed when the makers of the Aquabox, an emergency aid solution used in disaster relief zones around the world, were looking to replace their chemical water purification tablets with something that was more sustainable and longer lasting. Working with his wife, Gill - a former biology teacher - John put his engineering background to use and designed two sizes of hand-operated filter that use an ultrafiltration membrane to do the hard work.

 

The membrane has tiny holes that are only 0.01 microns wide which means that even microscopically small viruses like Hepatitis B (0.042 microns) don’t get through. But the filters have to withstand hours of continuous use, on a daily basis, in unforgiving climates, so the designs are also simple and durable and require no spare parts, electricity or cartidges.

 

Field tests, conducted by HelpAge International/Dfid and Intersos/UNHCR amongst many others, show that the Aquafilters make a huge difference wherever they are sent. There are Aquafilters out in the field which have been giving people safe water for more than 5 years and are still going strong.

 

Despite their combined age of 142, John and Gill also make regular visits to some of the most deprived parts of the world to keep tabs on how the designs are standing up and to see first hand the benefits that safe water brings.

 

Over 20,000 Aquafilters have already been deployed in about 40 countries, but that is only the beginning.

To help bring safe water to more people who need it, you don’t have to make a better mousetrap, you can simply share John and Gill’s story or make a donation to the Safe Water Trust by following this link:

http://www.grifaid.org/donate

 

Share or donate and keep the story going!

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