Water Filter Project
Good clean drinking water is the life blood for any individual, family or community. Unfortunately, there is very little infrastructure in the villages around Lake Chapala to provide this commodity in a cost effective potable manner. Quite often water sources, either cold water springs, or wells feeding from artesian water courses can be contaminated with bacteria, parasites and some viruses, and in the case of the wells, heavy metals.
A proven way to provide good, clean drinking water is to filter water to remove contaminants, having tested the supply, to ensure that heavy metals or nitrates are not present.
Water Filters.
 The filter itself is made from clay and is mixed with a combustible material, usually sawdust, then formed into a tube like shape. Once fired in the kiln, the sawdust is burnt off, providing a porous tube. The filter (tube) is inspected for flaws and then coated and soaked in colloidal silver. It is then mounted into a Garafon (19 litre container) or 5 gallon bucket and tested for a good seal and flow rate. The parameters for flow rate are 3-5 litres an hour. The complete system includes a receptacle with a tap and a sewn cover to keep out dust and bugs
The system is 99.999 effective at removing bacteria, parasites and some viruses for up to 4 years depending on the water quality and maintenance. The filter is not effective for removing heavy metals or nitrates, hence good water testing is needed prior to distribution. Cleaning is simple and can be done on a bi-monthly basis unless the water has extremely high turbidity
The components are sourced, manufactured and assembled in Mexico, providing small business opportunities and employment within the local economy. The cost for each complete water filter is $45 (US), this includes all instructional and educational materials.
Initial Trial.
An initial trial project was carried out in the villages of Mescala, involving 7 families, and Agua Caliente with 3 families and the Secondary School, the water supply was tested for suitability, those involved were given training on how to use and clean the filters and personal hygiene and sanitation. This proved successful, and provided confidence to implement the Water Filter Project on a larger scale.
It was decided at an early stage to concentrate introduction of the filters, on a community by community basis.
The aim of this phase of the project is to initially provide up to 100 ceramic water filter systems to 100 families in the Village of Mezcala and another 50 filters to another village, yet to be determined. This is and will be accomplished through a set procedure encompassing water tests, filter education, and instruction on hygiene & sanitation. The presentation is being held at community centers in the respective locations. After having attended a 1 hour session, participating families will receive a certificate of completion, pamphlets on filter use and care, and a filter system.  After 3 and 12 months, surveys will be carried out on a percentage of those participating in order to make an assessment on the filter and its use.
Local Pastor and Doctor providing instruction on how to use the water filters.
Our partners on the ground are:
 Alivio International (Alan & Becca Pohl), who source, supply and arrange training on the filters. Alan and Becca are also members of Chapala Sunrise Rotary Club.
Aipromades, a non Government Organisation (NGO), who specialize in environmental matters including water supply, rainwater harvesting and water testing, among other co-related subjects. They also provide training and education, on water related matters for this project.
Local Doctors. Provide advice on the benefits of drinking clean water and education on personal hygiene and sanitation.
The Hartup Family Ministries. Liaison with the community.
The Future.
We are looking to expand this project to include other communities around, and close to the Lakeside. Further, where practical, we will look to combine the use of these filters along with Rainwater Harvesting projects.
We are looking for partners to support this project, is this something you would be interested in?