isolated communities in the Amazon use solar energy to purify water

Are 13 people who already have installed purifier.
23/07/2015 10h46 - Updated 23/07/2015 10h46
Photo: Agency Brazil

compact water purifiers developed by the National Institute of Amazon Research (INPA) They are providing drinking water to communities isolated from Amazon. The devices run on solar energy and provide clean water for people living in remote locations, without access to electricity. Between the 13 populations with scrubber already installed, are the Indians of Deni ethnicity, the residing 25 Manaus boat days, the Alto Rio Juruá.

The purifier eliminates 99,5% bacteria, fungi and water coliform rivers through an ultraviolet lamp C, the most dangerous rays of ultraviolet radiation. The lamp is placed inside a metal tube. When water passes through the tube is bombarded by light and leaves disinfected. A solar panel charges the battery that turns the light.

During the 67th meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Science (SBPC), in San Carlos, the researcher of INPA Carlos Bueno, in an interview to Brazil, He said the project was designed to prevent deaths from contamination and worms, especially children, due to consumption of unsafe water. The tests in Indian villages began in 2007. "The purifier is the result of remodeling technologies that already existed", he explained.

According to researcher, despite the large amount of fresh water in the Amazon region, there is a lot of low quality water. "In the rivers near communities, the waters are polluted by people living with their backs to the river ", He stressed. Bueno attributes the fact to cultural factors, as the belief that the move dirt on the river is taken away.

The INPA, in partnership with the health system, It is evaluating the impact on technology and vermin contamination numbers of benefited population. "The results are highly positive, indigenous, inclusive, They dubbed the device 'God's blessing' ", disse Good.

The Institute has 56 mounted devices. According to the researcher, still this year, They will install two scrubbers in each state of the Northern Region, in isolated communities, conservation units and army border platoons.

purifier Inpa
Coupled to a solar panel and water box, or purifier filter 400 liters per hour. The purifier is a metal box 13 kg, and the entire system costs $ 2 one thousand, including solar panel and the input filter. The lamp and the battery last about 10 thousand hours, that is, three to four years. Bueno adds that maintenance is minimal at this time.

Coupled to a solar panel and water tank community, or purifier filter 400 liters per hour, that is, 5 thousand liters per day, enough to provide clean water for drinking and cooking 300 people.

But, so that the purifying function efficiently, the water passing through the device must be clear, translucent, allowing light to pass through. Bueno account that the waters of the Amazon rivers are diversified, as well as the fauna and flora of the region. "We have white water, black, as Rio Black, and streams, red, as in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, muddy or white, as the Amazon and Solimões River, it is green, as the Rio Tapajós. "

The researcher explained that each of these waters have different amounts of suspended waste, that need to pass a physical before entering the filter purifier, which is a biological filter. "With muddy water, for example, the radiation efficiency will not be good, then the device requires that filters are coupled to improve water quality before it is purified ", he explained.

The filters used in the scrubbers in operation were purchased ready market, but Inpa patenting is a natural filter design made with seeds of plants such as palm and PVC tubes. "Among the advantages of this type of filter is that, besides removing suspended materials, it takes away the smell of the water. And as the seeds are the most nutritious part of the plant, rich in minerals, become the richest water. "

The specialist who informed, to expand production purifier, INPA has signed a partnership agreement with a company that works with alternative energy. "They are working together with the INPA and will give scale production for the device."

The institute has also partnered with the Army to develop a project called Water Man, consisting of a more compact device that will fit in a backpack. "When the soldiers are in training in the jungle, for example, They will be able to install the system and treat water for the entire squad when they stop taking ", Well said.

Source: Agency Brazil

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