One of the most harmful effects of the climate crisis is a lack of access to clean water. In communities such as Lobitos, Peru, in which water access is unreliable and the water quality is poor, a long-term solution is crucial to maintain the vitality of every facet of the community, including industry, hospitality, fishing, tourism, and daily life. To mitigate this problem, our team has developed a prototype for a biosand water filter that can be adjusted for community usage to filter and store clean water. The biosand filter is a simple, adaptable method of water filtration that can be constructed with low-cost materials such as concrete, gravel, sand, and plastic, all of which are readily available in Lobitos. It doesn’t require electricity to function and utilizes gravity and the UV rays of the sun to propel water and purify it. The current prototype has gone through three iterations and has been tested within river systems to analyze basic water mechanics and function, but future iterations will feature pumps and vertical setups to prioritize ease of use and account for turbulent ocean flow. Not only will this device allow community members and tourists reliable water access; in conjunction with a renewable-powered desalination method developed by EcoSwell, the inhabitants of the Piedritas region will be able to harness ocean water to provide as much water as they need, providing both economic and societal benefits to business owners, families, and tourists alike. This design prioritizes the health and safety of community members and is 99% effective at removing contaminants and reducing water turbidity, ensuring a future in which people can not only survive, but thrive.
CU Boulder_EngineersWithoutBordersBiosandFilter_DesignSubmission (1)