Engineers from Jadavpur University (JU) with the technical help from University of California have developed an inexpensive water filter which removes arsenic besides other impurities. A team of civil engineers from JU under the mentorship of Joyashree Roy and University of California have successfully installed the water filter plant which produces 10,000 litres of water per day at a school near Baruipur in South 24 Parganas district, an affected area.
We are using arsenic-contaminated ground water and filtering it using electro-chemical arsenic remediation (ECAR) technology to produce potable water which is not only free of arsenic but all other contaminants, professor Joyashree Roy, who is co-ordinating the project, told PTI.
Used successfully in countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia already, ECAR was developed by NRI scientist Ashok Gadgil in his Berkeley lab on energy and water research. The technology uses electricity to quickly dissolve iron in water which leads to the formation of a type of rust that readily binds to arsenic in the water. As the rust aggregates forming larger particles, it is separated from the water through filtration.
Adding, Roy said that,
this is a very simple and cheap technology and once it is commercialized the cost of drinking water can be as low as one rupee a litre. We have taken only the know-how from outside. Rest everything is indigenous. Even the materials we procured for making the plant is locally sourced. Our students in School of Environment Engineering know how to do everything.
The cost, researchers said, is very low as none of the components need to be imported.
The cost of licensing the technology is also little because the project is a joint collaboration between the department of science and technology of the Indian government and the US government for transfer of technology for public health benefit, Roy said.
The technology is now ready to be licensed by the University of California for commercial use in India.