our work - Clean Drinking Water for Developing Countries

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As an example, our Arsenic Removal Filter Design is being used (free of charge) by more than 35 Nonprofits and NGOs around the world, to build filters in communities in rural areas where arsenic poisoning is a problem. Providing clean drinking water is what we have been trained for as civil engineers and planners. We have decades of experience in cleaning contaminated drinking water and stopping pollution from flowing to our water sources here in the United States. Now we are putting this expertise to work in developing countries where it is needed the most.

On the average it cost about $20 per person to built a water pump or water filter system in a community. These systems produce clean, safe drinking water for aproximately 12 to 24 years.

We work with partners in developing countries, to design and construct drinking water systems. With our civil engineering / land use planning background we approach the problem with state of the art designs and with realistic construction methods that can be easily implemented in the host country:

  • Step 1: For immediate problems we provide filtering systems that are purposely designed and constructed to be simple. They are made from local materials so local people, who need filtering systems the most, can reproduce these filters on their own.

  • Step 2: We install fresh water wells with hand pumps for entire communities, so no one has to go without clean water.

  • Step 3: We investigate the causes of waterway pollution, which could be from industrial sources or local farms and ranches. Once we locate where the pollution is coming from, we design low cost water treatment systems that are simple to build and effective. When toxic pollution flowing to local waterways is stopped, entire communities will benefit with clean rivers, lakes and streams. The health of everyone connected to these waterways improves.

Bio-Sand Water Filters:
A bio-sand water filter is a simple technology which is well suited for developing countries where other clean water systems are not available. These systems cost approximately $20 per person served.

The Bio-sand filter is a container that holds sand and gravel to produce clean drinking water naturally. It is constructed of locally available materials (sand, gravel). These systems are great because they do not require electricity to work, and they do not have expensive parts to be replaced. Maintenance is simple and can be done by the bio-sand filter owner. It's so simple everyone in the household can use it.

The bio-sand filter treats polluted water with a biological layer covering the top layer of the sand bed. The "good microbes" in the bio-layer feeds off of the "bad organisms / microbes" and develop an active organic community. Organisms like worms and protozoa can't pass through the sand bed so there is a natural "die off" process that happens too. The biosand water filter can effectively filter out up to 99% of all waterborne diseases caused by bacteria, protozoa, viruses and worms, giving local families an affordable solution for their clean water needs.

A typical bio-sand filter can produce about 6 gallons or 23 liters every hour and provide enough water to meet the needs of 10 people or 3 or 4 families.

Provide filtering systems that are purposely made to be simple and designed from local materials so that the local people, who need it the most, can reproduce this system on their own.

Also we help to install freshwater wells with hand pumps for the entire community so no one has to go without.

And we investigate the causes of waterway pollution, which could come from industrial sources or local farms. Once we find where the pollution is coming from we design low cost water treatment systems that are simple but effective. When toxic pollution flowing to local waterways is stopped, the entire community benefits with clean water. Everyone in the area becomes healthier.

This is what we have been trained for as civil engineers and planners. We have decades of experience in stopping pollution from flowing to our waterways here in the United States. Now we are putting this expertise to work in developing countries where it is needed the most.
by Patrick Cox

Solar powered pumps

Solar water systems use the power of the sun to drive a submersible electric pump and are ideal for boreholes with a high yield. The pumps Geo-Life uses - helical rotor pumps - are among the most efficient and simple pumps in the world with only one moving part. The system can pump water all day and excess water is stored in an overhead tank. Solar pumps are low maintenance, require no manual operation, and use clean, renewable energy.

Water Filters
In emergency situations or in remote areas where Geo-Life is not able to install a pump because of technical limitations, surface water filtration systems are a viable option. The LifeStraw® Personal, for example, is a portable water filter which can be carried for easy access to safe and clean drinking water. This water filtration system makes it possible to drink from surface water sources that would not otherwise be safe. The straw kills and removes 99.999% of waterborne bacteria and 98% of waterborne viruses.

Rain Water Harvesting
Geo-Life supports rainwater harvesting systems for schools and communities with solar pumps. A PVC gutter channels rainwater to a 1000 to 2500 litre water tank, with a tap fitted directly to the outlet of the tank. The water is then used for irrigation, cleaning, and other grey water needs.


Removing Pollution from Waterways:
When protecting natural environments people live in, we must prevent contamination from entering the waterways and protect their natural corridors. These rivers, lakes and streams are the lifeblood of communities especially in developing countries. Pollutants of these waterways are identified in two categories: point source contamination such as industrial / manufacturing facilities and nonpoint source stormwater runoff from built areas. Contaminates include oil and grease from roads, fertilizers / pesticides from farms and lawns, and contamination / chemicals from industrial / commercial areas.

To remove pollution from waterways, Geo-Life designs systems that use filtration for industrial contaminants and retention pond systems with biological planting schemes, such as Bio-Swales and open retention ponds for organic contaminants. These systems are designed to remove pollution before it flows to lakes, streams, rivers and eventually the oceans. These systems are not expensive and can be a part of a natural corridor through communities that provide safe water for people to use, a place for wildlife to live and fresh filtered air for all life. Vegetation along these restored waterways removes contaminates from the waterway and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
by Patrick Cox

In the Quakertown Borough area, Anthropogenic alternation of waterway corridors and floodplains significantly modified the structure and function of waterways and tributary land cover and led to an extensive loss of riparian buffers and wetlands. This Restoration Plan presents strategies and projects that can be implemented in the Upper Tohickon River Watershed to enhance and restore the natural resources in the watershed, with the ultimate goal of renewed uses of the water resources that were once provided by Licking Run Creek and Beaver Run Creek. These strategies consist of 18 different waterway restoration water quality projects that could be constructed as individual systems or as a whole.

Higher educationTemple University has included our "Waterway Restoration" 55 minute film in their educational curriculum. This film has been shown to the Civil and Environmental Engineering students since the 2012 fall session.

See the "thank you" email from Sergio E. Serrano, Ph.D.
Professor of Hydrologic Science & Engineering

WATERWAY RESTORATION: a 55 minute educational video
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