PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Low cost chlorine dispensing device improves tap water safety in low-resource regions

Engineers invent device that requires no electricity or moving parts, lets users collect water as they usually do

Low cost chlorine dispensing device improves tap water safety in low-resource regions
2021-01-14
(Press-News.org) MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE (January 14, 2021) - A team of researchers led by engineers at Tufts University's School of Engineering and Stanford University's Program on Water, Health and Development have developed a novel and inexpensive chlorine dispensing device that can improve the safety of drinking water in regions of the world that lack financial resources and adequate infrastructure. With no moving parts, no need for electricity, and little need for maintenance, the device releases measured quantities of chlorine into the water just before it exits the tap. It provides a quick and easy way to eliminate water-borne pathogens and reduce the spread of high mortality diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever and diarrhea.

According to the CDC, more than 1.6 million people die from diarrheal diseases every year and half of those are children. The authors suggest that the solution to this problem could be relatively simple.

In communities and regions that do not have the resources to build water treatment plants and distribution infrastructure, the researchers found that the device can provide an effective, alternative means of water treatment at the point of collection. The device was installed and tested at several water collection stations, or kiosks, across rural areas in Kenya.

The study, which also looks at the economic feasibility and local demand for the system, was published today in the journal NPJ Clean Water.

"The idea we pursued was to minimize the user burden by automating water treatment at the point of collection," said Amy J. Pickering, former professor of civil and environmental engineering at Tufts (now at Stanford) and corresponding author of the study. "Clean water is central to improving human health and alleviating poverty. Our goal was to design a chlorine doser that could fit onto any tap, allowing for wide-scale implementation and increasing accessibility to a higher-level of safe water service."

Water is a simple substance, but a complex global health issue in both its availability and quality. Although it has long been a focus of the World Health Organization and other NGO's, 2.1 billion people still lack access to safe water at home (WHO). In areas of the world where finances and infrastructure are scarce, water may be delivered to communities by pipe, boreholes or tube wells, dug wells, and springs. Unfortunately, 29 percent of the global population uses a source that fails to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) criteria for safely managed water - accessible and available when needed, and free from fecal and chemical contamination. In many places, access to safe water is out of reach due to the lack of available funds to create and support water treatment facilities.

The device works on the principle of a physical phenomenon in fluid dynamics called the Venturi effect, in which a non-compressible fluid flows at a faster rate when it runs from a wider to a narrower passage. In the device, the water passes through a so-called pinch valve. The fast-moving water stream draws in chlorine from a tube attached to the pinch valve. A needle valve controls the rate and thus amount of chlorine flowing into the water stream. The simple design could allow the device to be manufactured for $35 USD at scale.

"Rather than just assume we made something that was easier to use, we conducted user surveys and tracked the performance of the devices over time," said study co-author Jenna Davis, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, director of Stanford's Program on Water, Health and Development, and co-PI of the Lotus Water project. This research is an extension of Lotus Water, which aims to provide reliable and affordable disinfection services for communities most at risk of waterborne illness.

A six-month evaluation in Kenya revealed stable operation of six of seven installed devices; one malfunctioned due to accumulation of iron deposits, a problem likely solvable with a pre-filter. Six of the seven sites were able to maintain payment for and upkeep of the device, and 86.2 percent of 167 samples taken from the devices throughout the period showed chlorine above the WHO recommended minimum level to ensure safe water, and below a threshold determined for acceptable taste. Technical adjustments were required in less than 5 percent of visits by managers of the kiosks. In a survey, more than 90 percent of users said they were satisfied with the quality of the water and operation of the device.

"Other devices and methods have been used to treat water at the point of collection," said Julie Powers, PhD student at Tufts School of Engineering and first author of the study. "but the Venturi has several advantages. Perhaps most importantly, it doesn't change the way people collect their water or how long it takes - there's no need for users to determine the correct dosing or spend extra time- just turn on the tap. Our hope is the low cost and high convenience will encourage widespread adoption that can lead to improved public health."

Future work examining the effect of the in-line chlorination device on diarrhea, enteric infections, and child mortality could further catalyze investment and scaling up this technology, said Powers.

INFORMATION:

Funding for the development of the device and the study was provided by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University and the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies.

Powers, J.E., McMurry, C., Gannon, S., Drolet, A., Oremo, J., Klein, L., Crider, Y., Davis, J., and Pickering, A.J. "Design, technical performance and demand for a novel in-line Venturi chlorine doser to increase access to safe drinking water in low-income settings." NPJ Clean Water. 18 Decenber 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41545-020-00091-1

About Tufts University Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Low cost chlorine dispensing device improves tap water safety in low-resource regions

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

A climate in crisis calls for investment in direct air capture, news research finds

A climate in crisis calls for investment in direct air capture, news research finds
2021-01-14
There is a growing consensus among scientists as well as national and local governments representing hundreds of millions of people, that humanity faces a climate crisis that demands a crisis response. New research from the University of California San Diego explores one possible mode of response: a massively funded program to deploy direct air capture (DAC) systems that remove CO2 directly from the ambient air and sequester it safely underground. The findings reveal such a program could reverse the rise in global temperature well before 2100, but only with immediate and sustained investments from governments and firms to scale up the new technology. Despite the enormous undertaking explored in the study, the research ...

Honeybees reveal how our floral landscape has changed over the last 65 years

Honeybees reveal how our floral landscape has changed over the last 65 years
2021-01-14
Honeybee historians might seem like a flight of fancy but these tiny pollinators have been helping researchers from the National Botanic Garden of Wales track how the UK's fields, hedgerows, wild spaces and gardens have changed since the 1950s.Using cutting-edge DNA barcoding techniques, scientists at the Botanic Garden identified which plants modern-day honeybees visited most often by looking at the pollen grains trapped within honey. They compared this to a 1952 survey of honey plants where a microscope had been used to painstakingly identify pollen grains in honey sent from hives across the country. The differences were clear. White clover had been the most important plant for honeybees but, with fewer pastures today and increased use of herbicides and inorganic ...

Scientists discover the secret of Galápagos' rich ecosystem

Scientists discover the secret of Galápagos rich ecosystem
2021-01-14
New research has unlocked the mystery of how the Galápagos Islands, a rocky, volcanic outcrop, with only modest rainfall and vegetation, is able to sustain its unique wildlife habitats. The Galápagos archipelago, rising from the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean some 900 kilometres off the South American mainland, is an iconic and globally significant biological hotspot. The islands are renowned for their unique wealth of endemic species, which inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and today underpins one of the largest UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Marine Reserves on Earth. Scientists have known ...

Water and gender equality

Water and gender equality
2021-01-14
Water isn't just crucial for life, it's fundamental to increasing opportunities for women and girls in rural areas across the globe. A new Stanford study reveals how bringing piped water closer to remote households in Zambia dramatically improves the lives of women and girls, while also improving economic opportunities, food security and well-being for entire households. The research, recently published in Social Science & Medicine, could spur governments and NGOs to more carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of piped water as an alternative to less accessible communal water sources. "Switching from the village borehole to piped supply saved almost 200 hours of fetching time per year for a typical household," said study senior ...

Fast food restaurant proximity likely doesn't affect children's weight

2021-01-14
A new paper in Q Open finds that the availability of fast food restaurants on the route between children's houses and their schools does not affect children's weight. Reducing the rate of childhood obesity is a top public health priority in the United States where obesity rates are 18.4% for those ages 6-11 and 20.6% for those ages 12-19. Childhood obesity is a documented risk-factor for negative physical and mental health outcomes. Obese children are also more likely to become obese adults and suffer associated health problems. Researchers have proposed that the accessibility ...

Chemotherapy with light; only one injection required

Chemotherapy with light; only one injection required
2021-01-14
Researchers in South Korea have developed a phototherapy technology that can significantly increase efficiency while reducing the pain of chemotherapy and minimizing side effects after treatment. The President of Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seok-Jin Yoon announced that a research team led by Dr. Se-hoon Kim at the Theragnosis Research Center (KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology) has developed a cancer-targeted phototherapeutic agent that promises complete elimination of cancer cells without side effects. It involves only one injection and repeated phototherapy. This development ...

Effects of head trauma from intimate partner violence largely unrecognized

2021-01-14
While there is an abundant amount of research about traumatic brain injuries in athletes and those serving in the military, the same data is scarce when it comes to concussions and head and neck injuries sustained due to intimate partner violence. Carrie Esopenko, assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences in the Rutgers School of Health Professions says that the World Health Organization estimates that one in three women will experience intimate partner violence (IPV) in her lifetime, and studies suggest that anywhere between 30% to 90% of women who experience physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner experience head trauma. Yet not enough data is being collected to understand how this head trauma affects cognitive and psychological ...

SolarEV City concept: Building the next urban power and mobility systems

2021-01-14
Cities have become the focus of global climate mitigation efforts because as they are responsible for 60-70% of energy-related CO2 emissions. As the world is increasingly urbanized, it is crucial to identify cost-effective pathways to decarbonize and enhance the resilience of cities, which ensure the well-being of their dwellers. In this study, we propose a "SolarEV City" concept, in which integrated systems of cities' roof-top photovoltaics and electric vehicles (EVs) supply affordable and dispatchable CO2-free electricity to urban dwellers. The SolarEV City assumes that 70% of toof-top of cities at maximum are used for PV and all passenger vehciles are converted to ...

Human-induced climate change caused the northwestern Pacific warming record in August 2020

Human-induced climate change caused the northwestern Pacific warming record in August 2020
2021-01-14
August 2020 set new record high sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the northwestern Pacific Ocean and around the Japan coasts. A new study led by National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) researchers revealed that this warming record could not happen without human-induced climate changes. The northwestern Pacific sea surface becomes warm seasonally around August every year. However, it was unprecedentedly high in August 2020, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The extremely high SSTs exceeding 30°C, which lasted until mid-September, may have intensified tropical cyclones such as ...

Concept for a hybrid-electric plane may reduce aviation's air pollution problem

2021-01-14
At cruising altitude, airplanes emit a steady stream of nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, where the chemicals can linger to produce ozone and fine particulates. Nitrogen oxides, or NOx, are a major source of air pollution and have been associated with asthma, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disorders. Previous research has shown that the generation of these chemicals due to global aviation results in 16,000 premature deaths each year. Now MIT engineers have come up with a concept for airplane propulsion that they estimate would eliminate 95 percent of aviation's NOx emissions, and thereby reduce the number of associated early deaths by 92 percent. The concept is inspired ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Dramatic changes to radiotherapy treatments due to COVID-19

UTMB team proves potential for reducing pre-term birth by treating fetus as patient

New technique builds super-hard metals from nanoparticles

Regulating the ribosomal RNA production line

ECMO/CRRT in the treatment of critically ill SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients

Risk factors for intraoperative pressure injury in aortic surgery

Predictive value of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure/heart rate ratio in a Chinese subpopulation with vasovagal syncope

A method for calculating optimal parameters of liquid chrystal displays developed at RUDN University

No more needles for diagnostic tests?

A professor from RUDN University developed new liquid crystals

Wet and wild: There's lots of water in the world's most explosive volcano

Exercising muscle combats chronic inflammation on its own

From fins to limbs

UK public supports usage of tracking technology and immunity passports in global pandemic

Climate and carbon cycle trends of the past 50 million years reconciled

Crystal structures in super slow motion

University of Cincinnati research unveils possible new combo therapy for head and neck cancer

NSAIDs might exacerbate or suppress COVID-19 depending on timing, mouse study suggests

Tiny particles that seed clouds can form from trace gases over open sea

Experts call for more pragmatic approach to higher education teaching

A quarter of known bee species haven't appeared in public records since the 1990s

AI trained to read electric vehicle charging station reviews to find infrastructure gaps

Genetic sequence for parasitic flowering plant Sapria

SARS-CoV-2 infection in children, their parents in southwest Germany

The seven rocky planets of TRAPPIST-1 seem to have very similar compositions

Proteins unspool DNA so cells can take on unique properties

Consenting for treatment in advance to reduce leaving the hospital against medical advice among patients with addiction - Experts debate pros and cons

Shift in caribou movements may be tied to human activity

Lack of sleep, stress can lead to symptoms resembling concussion

UMD researcher expands plant genome editing with newly engineered variant of CRISPR-Cas9

[Press-News.org] Low cost chlorine dispensing device improves tap water safety in low-resource regions
Engineers invent device that requires no electricity or moving parts, lets users collect water as they usually do