Sustainable power and innovation provide clean drinking water and energy

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Courtesy of Trunz Water Systems AG

In many areas in Kenya, access to clean drinking water is lacking. About 88% of the population must travel long distances to get to the nearest source of clean water or is forced to drink contaminated water. Children in particular suffer from waterborne diseases.

Systems Provide Energy-Independent Water Treatment
To try to provide a long-lasting solution for the drinking water needs of people in Kenya and other underdeveloped areas, Swiss-based Trunz Water Systems has created an environmentally friendly and energy-independent mobile water treatment plant.

The self-contained units are compact and can produce clean drinking water-removing viruses and bacteria-from polluted freshwater sources, including wells, rivers, and creeks using an ultrafiltration membrane system. Some systems can also purify brackish water and seawater using a reverse osmosis system, removing salt and chemicals without the need for potentially toxic treatment chemicals.

The treatment units come complete with a borehole pump, solar racks, and an optional wind generator, ready for installation (Figure 1) and are designed to be as low-maintenance as possible by incorporating an automatic backflush system. The system capacity ranges from 7,000 to 50,000 L/d depending on raw water quality.

One of the main benefits of the units is that they use very little energy and they are solar- and wind-powered. With the assistance of a wind turbine, the units can deliver any excess electricity to power lights and computers, or can recharge small appliances.

From Concept To Reality-Real People Benefit
Trunz recently carried out a demonstration project at an orphanage in Diani, Kenya, approximately 35 kilometres south of Mombasa. The facility houses about 22 children and the staff members, all of whom are familiar with the problem of contaminated water. At the orphanage, the staff is charged with caring for the basic needs of the orphans and neglected or abandoned children. Its mission includes improving the children’s health, and one of the main ways this is carried out is by providing clean drinking water for their daily needs.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the units in providing germ-free drinking water, a water trailer equipped with a Trunz Water System 200 was installed at the orphanage. The mobile water treatment plant is mounted on a trailer powered by renewable energy independent of any power source and is run by the solar panels and a wind generator. This plant was able to supply the orphanage with 15,000 L/d of drinking water.

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