Drinking Water - A place for resources, ideas, questions

Status: Just started

Access to clean drinking water is a challenge faced by over a billion people around the world.

This is a place to provide and share links, resources, information, questions, comments and so forth, related to Drinking Water.

Please feel free to post any information you may have.

In Kenya, solar disinfection of water is being use.

Here is a video on it.


Hi Frank,

I just saw your question about getting the water piped to your homes. I have to admit that I am not totally familiar with what options you currently have available for moving or storing the water and what sort of volumes you are looking to move. A bit on my background I am a Canadian Engineer who works in the oil industry, and a have reasonable knowledge when it comes to pipelines. If this is only for use to get drinking water into homes gravity maybe your best and cheapest choice, if feasible. I do understand that the pipe to get the water from the highest point in or near town could be costly, as piping will be your only choice. But even just a few meters of height, a tank from your roof will provide flow when a tap is openned, and if your homes are tightly grouped a tank on the top of one home could provide water to surrounding homes as well. Think of it sort of like a spider, the tank on the top of one home being the body and the legs being the pipes to other homes. And by doing this a few times you can cover a large number of homes.
A couple of concerns in doing this. The further you want to transport the water or the higher the flow you want the higher the tank needs to be relative to the tap. If you are trying to cover too great a distance you will lose too much pressure in pushing the water through the pipe. Your structure supporting the weight of the tank will need to be able to bear the weight of a full tank of water. And you will still have to be find a way to fill these tanks. Also the water will get quite warm on your roof and this will develop a favourable enviroment for bacteria to grow, a lid for the tank would be recommended.
For moving the water a Treadle pump could be used, http://www.ewb.ca/en/whatwedo/overseas/projects/treadle.html, a simple design and created to be built out of parts at hand. The more homes drawing from each tank means it will drain faster. But again an option if all this is doing is allowing for distribution of drinking water from a central source.
For piping there is always a chance depending on where you are on the map of tracking down excess plastic pipe from other industrial uses, such as pipe ends from the oil industry. These may be considered throw away ends of only 15 to 20m for them but could be useful and relatively cheap. I do understand that this may not be an option. And that in real world terms this may still be a very costly option.
I am just throwing an idea out there in hopes of it maybe being of some aid.



Hi Paul,

Thanks for the ideas and the link.

Frank - any thoughts?



We have started an NGO that goes by the name of RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AND SANITATION(redsan)our core aim is to make sure that we live the organic we everything to be natural and we stop destruction of forest and streams that provide us with clean drinking water,i would welcome neighbours who have also the same perception as me geared towards providing sustainable clean environment,any interested member can get


Hi Evans,

A very warm welcome and lots of success in your vision. I will join your NGO in exchange to what you have already initiated.

We need to revive discussions on this page. It is threateningly silent.

Best wishes

Programme Development Director

Promoting Grassroots Partnerships to enhance Sustainable Development


Welcome Everyone,

Yes the discussion has been limited. I think there is a good opportunity here to discuss some of the issues around water and sanitation as well as share ideas and resources. I have information on biosand filters if anyone is interested and there have been many links placed here relating to organizations working on these issues. Please share your experiences - both positive and negative and pose questions as well as answers. There is a vast pool of knowledge on Nabuur and sometimes all it takes is someone to start the discussion.

I will pose a possible discussion:

In your communities and/or experience what ways have you been addressing access to clean drinking water? What have you done at the household level and/or community level?

Any thoughts or comments?



Hi Barb,

I am happy that we can be up and running with this important area in development. In the first place, i would like to obtain information on biosand filters as I have not worked with these a lot. I think they work for communities using water from valley dams as their sole source for doemstic use.

I have worked more on boreholes (drilling new and rehabilitating existing), helping communities to build their own handdug wells and protect springs and households in water stressed areas to build rainwater harvesting systems.

The main objective is to provide safe water for target beneficiaries. The questions to ask here are:

(i) "When do we really ensure the communities we intend to serve are having access to safe water"?
(ii) At what point should we measure "safe water access....is it at the source or at the storage container for drinking water"?
(iii) How do we ensure "safe water" is provided in a sustainable way to its intended beneficiaries?


Programme Development Director

Promoting Grassroots Partnerships to enhance Sustainable Development


Hi Walude,

These are great questions you are asking here. Maybe people have some thoughts on these questions???

As for biosand filters, I have uploaded documents on building a filter and other manuals to this village before. They should be in earlier posts and/or the resource section. If you can't find them, just let me know.



Hello Paul,

Nice to hear from your ans to my qn sounds great, which way is quite simple and safe to pipe water is it by using plastic tubes or metal tubes, u talked about the bacteria that can develop cant it also develop in the tubes too, and if so is there no drug that can be put into water so that it remains safe.

hope to hear from u soon


We should use water catchment methods like collecting rain water during rain season.

We should assist those in villages unable to aquire a tank, buy tanks for them and fix them ready for collecting rain clean water.

Bore holes are also needed for enough supply of water.

Christian Age Concern Foundation Rural Development is a Christian
humanitarian not-for-profit organization, founded in November 2008,
dedicated to working with children, families, their communities, changing
the world by releasing children, Aged.


Ken posted this to the Sustainable Agriculture group. As it is directly related to water, I am posting it here too.

APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY - Drilling Water Wells by Hand

From the Introduction:

"The purpose of this booklet is to help you to be able to use communal labor, and relatively inexpensive, and simple to make equipment to drill water wells for villages and individuals, and/or schools, clinics or other benevolent efforts you might be involved with. We are attempting to show you how to make the equipment, and how to use it once you have it manufactured.

We believe that everything you need to make the equipment, as described in this booklet, is available in every country of the world. The expertise for welding, etc. is also available, and can be found in any country where your work is located. You may have to go to a big city, but it should be available.
You will be able to organize the villagers themselves to drill a well that will provide good, clean water, which will make their lives easier and healthier as a result.

It is our prayer that you will use this information for the common good of the people you are working among. We also pray that you will share it with as many as are interested, so that more and more people might have access to good clean water.

This information can also help individuals to find a source of income. Natives can take what they learn, go from village to village and drill water wells for the people, and, for their expertise, charge them a nominal fee. By doing this, more and more families throughout the world can be helped in many ways."


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