El Salvador - Don Bosco University Students awarded for Water Purification Project

19 June 2018

(ANS - San Salvador) – Students of the Strategic Design course of the "Mónica Herrara" School of Communication (ECMH) and by the students of the Industrial Design and Graphic Design courses at the Don Bosco University (UDB) in El Salvador presented a  project called "Design for Vulnerability" which was presented in New York in May as part of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. The project won a prize awarded in the "school" section by a panel of journalists from specialized magazines.

The problem of access to water is increasingly perceived all across the globe; in some countries the scarcity of drinking water has long been critical. Consider: about 1.1 billion people in the world have no direct access to sources of drinking water. Moreover, about 1,400 children under the age of five die every day from diseases related to lack of access to drinking water and adequate hygiene.

The project was born from the study of access to drinking water in the El Majahual community, located in the coastal area of ​​the "La Libertad" Department of El Salvador. Only 25% of the inhabitants in that area actually have access to drinking water through a system of pipelines for distribution and management; the remaining 75% look for alternative access to water through natural sources, rainwater collected during the winter season, wells, river water or freshwater springs. These sources are contaminated with biological and solid waste which, in turn, generate the proliferation of diseases which, due to the lack of organization of the health system and their distance from where needed, are difficult to eradicate.

Faced with this challenge, the multi-disciplinary team of university students from both universities, together with professionals from different sectors, has designed a water filtration system for the contaminated water of those sources, a system which purifies water and makes it suitable for human consumption.

The team developed a filter consisting of three layers of materials extracted from the existing resources in the coastal area, its effectiveness validated by various professionals and institutions expert in water treatment, including: the "Fusades" Integral Quality Laboratory, the Center of Applied Technology (CTA), "AZURE" and the "Stove Team International".

The filter is a low-cost and easy-to-produce product and, in the future, can be replicated in other areas that also experience difficulty in accessing water.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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