Good Old Terra Cotta Pots Still Make the Best RO System


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Pramila Krishnan

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By Pramila Krishnan

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

(Excerpt from “Alarm bell rings for ground water” – Deccan Chronicle)

Botany Prof S. Saravana Babu of Chicka Naicker College, in Erode, and his team have been propagating a traditional three-pot, water purifying system among many villages in Erode district.

Even now many families prefer using this native purifier, which is much cheaper and just as good, if not better, compared to the modern UV/reverse osmosis purifiers.

“This pot purifier is nothing new. When I studied the quality of water from the Cauvery river in Mettur-Erode for a research project, I learnt that its fluoride content was very high and the water had traces of pesticides,” said Prof Babu.

With his teammates, he observed that some families there purified water using clean sand as a filtration agent. The team then got down to working on a model that could address the problem of water pollution.

The three-pot water purifier
The three-pot water purifier.

“After several rounds of discussions, we came up with the three-pot purifier model. The first two pots will have three small holes through which water would pass through the filtration agents and reach the third pot. The first pot will have ‘activated carbon’, which could be prepared easily by burning coconut shell.

The second pot will have pebbles. The third one will have a tap. If you fill water in the first pot at night, the water would pass through the two filters and you will get clean, purified water from the tap in the morning,” explained Prof Babu.

His pots steeply cut down on fluoride and pesticide contamination to make available pure water for consumption “even by the aged and kids”. He said the pebbles and coconut shell carbon pieces should be changed once a fortnight.

The entire ‘device’ could cost about Rs 100 and there are plans to arrange for mass production, which could reduce the cost further.

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