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Environmental performance assessment of a microfiltration technology - the Sky Juice water treatment unit - for developing countries

Green, Wendy Cheryl (2004) Environmental performance assessment of a microfiltration technology - the Sky Juice water treatment unit - for developing countries. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

One billion people, mostly in developing countries do not have access to safe drinking water and water treatment is often required due to pollution of water sources. A low cost membrane technology, the Sky Juice, can remove turbidity, bacteria and parasites from water. The objectives of the project were to verify the Sky Juice technology performance and also determine if it was a suitable environmentally sound technology in comparison to alternative disinfection methods. For verification of the Sky Juice technology, laboratory examination of clay and algae turbidity removal by three Sky Juice units as well as bacterial removal by another three Sky Juice units were conducted. Control and membrane fault tests were also performed using deionised water and the bubble point test. The Environmentally Sound Technology - Performance Assessment (EST-PA) was used to assess the Sky Juice, chlorine disinfection (by Calcium Hypochlorite) and SODIS technologies in detail. The EST-PA was still under development by the United Nations Environment Program. EST-PA proposed criteria and indicators were used with some suggested changes to analyse the technologies. To compare the technologies and make EST-PA operational, a rating system was incorporated. Field verification information from Laos was collected as a last stage in EST-PA to validate the technical assessment and determine if the Sky Juice was suitable and socially accepted in field conditions. The Sky Juice performance met manufacturer's claims and World Health Organisation guidelines always after five minutes of use since cleaning the membrane. Within the first five minutes, small clay particles passed through the 0.2μ membrane giving slightly higher turbidity readings. Four out of six Sky Juice units tested had several faulty membrane fibres. Due to these faults bacteria removal could not be confirmed in the first five minutes of use of the Sky Juice but past experience showed complete removal by intact membranes on larger systems. It is recommended that simple bubble point tests to check for faults before delivery and installation of the technology. The Sky Juice was found to be the most environmentally sound technology and suitable for low virus risk areas, whilst chlorine disinfection could be suitable but had higher environmental impacts. The SODIS
technology still performed well in environmental performance but was mainly suitable for warmer and lower rainfall climates. Field verification showed that Sky Juice was socially acceptable and suitable for use in a rural village in the mountains of Laos.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Notes: A digital copy of this thesis is not available. Your library can request a copy from Murdoch University Library via Document Delivery. A fee applies to this service.
Supervisor: Ho, Goen
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/38398
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