How to purify river water or well : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Last year I went to Vietnam and visted a rural area. What I saw there broke my heart. People in that town use river water for drinking, cooking, and everything else. The river water was brown in color and was not clean, and obvious containing a lot of bacteria!. I would like to help them to purify the water by using common materials and cheap chemical (I don't know whether they can afford to buy anything!), but I don't have knowledge of how to do it. Would someone have any ideas to share with me and I'll try to help them out. Would well water is better off for them? Thank you.

-- Hao Lam (, February 27, 2001


Hao,Look up V.I.T.A on the internet.They will have a great deal of info for you regarding water supplies.You can look up many things on their site but you must contact them for more specific information they will also find an engineer that can help you with your specific problem.Regarding wells over river water.Wells are generally more sanitary providing the ground water has not been contaminated.Sometimes a hole dug about 5 meters from the river will give you water that is clear.(most of the rivers in s.e. asia were brown as I recall unless you were in the highlands)The clear water from the hole will not be bacterialogically safe but will be easier to treat.This can be done with iodine or sodium hypoclorate (bleach).Look into a type of well called a "driven well" this involves a special drive point that you attach to the well pipe and just hammer into the ground untill you hit water.It is very low tech and can give you a sanitary water supply if done properly.I think you should be able to buy a hand pump on the local economy in Vietnam.(we have many in this country that are made in china).Any method that you choose to use should be able to be field repaired.Drive points will likly need to be brought into the country but heavy walled well pipe should be available in the cities.Provisions to adapt american NPT pipe threads to metric may be needed.Perhaps not.Any way only one adapter per well point would be needed.I will say again that any technology that you choose to bring them water will need to be able to be fixed by them.That means no expensive parts from the United States.People will also need to be educated on the importance of keeping their new water supply pure.I wish you luck Hao.You want to do a noble and good thing.

-- greg (, February 27, 2001.

US Army improvised filter. Large bag hung up,, with a layer of sand, layer of charcoal,, layer of straw or other material.either attach a spigot or put in a hole,at the bottom. Fill it up,, and catch the fitered water. Wont work well to remove the bacteria,, but if they've been drinking out of the,they are problaby used to it anyways.

-- Stan (, February 27, 2001.

Stan, Wouldn't boiling it kill any bacteria after they filter it?

-- Dee (, February 27, 2001.

sure would,, but if its local water,, they would be used to the regional bacteria. Boiling it would be a good precaution though

-- Stan (, March 04, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ