Press Release - Clean Drinking Water for Developing Countries

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Non-Profit is using Rusty Nails to remove Arsenic from Drinking Water

The 501(c)(3) charity Geo-Life, Inc. has designed a water filter that employs rusty nails to remove arsenic from drinking water for people and NGOs in developing countries.

Media contact:
Patrick Cox, AICP

Executive Director
Geo-Life, Inc.
1301 Morris Court
North Wales, PA 19454  
Phone 215-588-9363

In a rural part of Cambodia villagers roll up their sleeves to reveal skin covered with dark lesions, ulcers and decaying flesh. They tell stories about family and neighbors who died of the same symptoms. One mother said, “My children are scared of my disease and won’t come close to me.” Arsenic poisoning also known as arsenicosis occurs when a person's body contains greater than normal levels of arsenic. The naturally occurring presence of arsenic in groundwater is a major problem in parts of Cambodia, India and China that affects millions of poor people. These countries have rivers that flow from major mountain ranges that carry large volumes of sediment and arsenic is carried in these sediments, which are deposited in riverbanks and floodplains. The arsenic is released from the sediments and dissolves into groundwater aquifers and are pumped to the surface by wells and consumed by the local population.

Several studies have confirmed that iron oxide or common rust has the ability to remove arsenic from water through adsorption. The arsenic becomes attached to the iron oxide and is removed from water. These studies used rusty non galvanized iron nails.

We at Geo-Life, Inc. have designed an arsenic removal system that can be made from local materials by local people that is over 95% effective and well above health department requirements in Cambodia.

Our arsenic removal design utilizes our bio-sand filter system with rusty nails spread over the surface of the diffuser plate uniformly (see plan). The contaminated water is poured into the top of the bio-sand filter over the rusty iron
nails, and percolates down through the biological layer, sand and gravel. This treated water then flows through the outlet pipe. The iron oxide / rusty nails removes arsenic and the sand filter / biological layer removes pathogens and other contaminates from the water.

At Geo-Life, we provide filtering system designs that are purposely made to be simple, inexpensive to construct and built from local materials so that local people, who need it the most, can construct and maintain this system on their own.

We are informing all interested Nonprofits and NGOs in developing countries that our arsenic removal filter design is available for their use, free of charge. If anyone knows of any organization that could use this design, please forward the website to them. You may download the plans at We appreciate you spreading awareness of this design solution for arsenic removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at or go to our website at

At the time of this release there are 36 NGOs who have downloaded our design and are putting it to use to save lives.


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