AguaClara builds water treatment plants that produce US EPA standard drinking water and can be owned and operated by small communities with limited resources. Our technologies are built entirely out of inexpensive locally-available materials, do not require highly-skilled labor to operate, and run without any electricity.
The facilities use state-of-the-art chemical dosing that eliminates failures due to software, electronics, pumps, and computers. Widely available, either aluminum sulfate or poly-aluminum chloride is used as the coagulant. Coagulant aids are not needed because AguaClara design, based on computational fluid dynamics analysis, eliminates floc break up. The revolutionary open process design with no enclosed tanks reduces construction costs, simplifies maintenance, and provides feedback to the operator for optimal plant performance. The AguaClara Stacked Rapid Sand Filter operates without afiltered water storage tank or backwash pumps. The advanced filter fluidics control system eliminates the need for large control valves, pneumatics, and electronics. Water is disinfected with liquid chlorine to kill any remaining pathogens.
Centralized drinking water treatment is often unsustainable for rural communities because conventional technology cannot be sustained in a resource-poor context. The result has been to focus on point-of-use systems, which fall short of providing the necessary utilities for complete sanitation and hygiene. By re-engineering conventional treatment technologies for the small-scale, we can give communities clean drinking water right at the tap. This means individuals can cook, clean, bathe, and wash dishes with clean water, minimizing contamination pathways, and preventing fatal diseases and frequent illnesses.
The total system operating cost is approximately $3 per household per month. The capital cost is less than half that of conventional mechanized plants. AguaClara's users are willing to pay for clean water. Water boards associated with AguaClara facilities saved money from their water tariffs to invest in reforestation of their watersheds, upgrade distribution systems, extend distribution systems to add new customers, and fund ongoing maintenance of water supply infrastructure.
Stage of development: ready for serial production
Using a total head of only 1.5m, AguaClara technologies can consistently produce US EPA standard drinking water without using any electricity. We have successfully treated water as high as 500 NTU with our treatment facilities. Operators record performance data of the plants on an hourly basis and the reported results are available live online: monitor.wash4all.org