A remarkably simple water distiller provides drinking water for Sri Lankans
For coastal villages in Sri Lanka, access to clean drinking water is a real problem. There is plenty of water but it is sea water. Rainfall is low and open wells soon become brackish.
To solve this problem Practical Action has created a simple water distiller which takes advantage of one abundant resource: solar energy.
The distiller simply consists of a galvanised steel tray with slanting glass lid. Water evaporates, condenses on the lid and runs down to a collection pipe. A distiller like this produces 8-10 litres of water a day. And it is extremely high quality. We had it tested at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and the water was free of salts, microbes and nitrogen compounds. The distiller works for any kind of water.
Mr Jayaratne of Andaragasyaya, Kirinda has recently installed one to provide drinking water for his family of seven. Following an assessment of the system his family now enjoy 8-10 litres of fresh water a day.
Jayaratne's wife says that, "previously many hours were spent on fetching water from distant places but now I use my time finishing day to day work and rearing cattle, which has enhanced the family income considerably".
Practical Action are now looking at ways to employ this technology in other parts of the world..
More examples of our water project include:
Shallow wells save lives
Using sand and gravel to filter polluted water
Bringing life to the land
Other stories in this month's Small Talk: