Clean Water Might Be Only a Backpack Away

How far did you walk to get clean drinking water today? As far as the kitchen sink? Even if you had to walk outside and draw it from a well, you’re still enjoying a privilege that many humans can only imagine. In Africa, millions of people walk miles every day to procure water, often from a contaminated source. Then, they have to make the return trip carrying the heavy water containers on their head or back. As a result, 650 die daily from water-related diseases, mostly children under the age of 5, and their parents often suffer painful back and neck injuries.

In the First World, massive municipal facilities collect, filter and treat water so that it’s safe to drink. The infrastructure and energy required by these facilities is decades away from being a reality in the developing world. That’s why Pang Teh Say Chun, an industrial designer living in Australia, designed a portable water filtration system that solves both problems at once.

The Skoon is designed to be carried like a backpack, with an ergonomic frame and straps that distribute weight evenly onto ones shoulders and waist. This is much better than the 5-gallon plastic buckets and jugs that many Africans use to carry water on their heads.

The device features a plastic-sand filter, which uses a float sink system to clean the filter medium without accessing it. It also incorporates a light bending panel that’s designed to bend and focus sunlight into the water container for a more efficient solar disinfection process.

Users will fill the flexible water collecting bag from their usual water source. Once full, the bag is connected to the filtration device via a hose. Pressure is applied by pressing, sitting, or kneeling on the bag (sounds like the part kids will want to help with!) and the water is forced up through the hose and into the sand filter.

— Beth Buczynski

This post originally appeared at EarthTechling and was republished with permission.

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