Technology Adelaide Uni students and staff chip in to create a new way to treat water in PNG.

Adelaide Uni students and staff chip in to create a new way to treat water in PNG.

Adelaide University mechanical engineering students and faculty have designed a low-cost water treatment system using glass tubing and foil chip packets.

The system directs the sun’s UVA radiation in a concentrated way to kill pathogens found in water.  It’s made from materials readily available throughout PNG.

Dr. Cristian Birzer, who supervised the students with Dr. Peter Kalt, said that “Worldwide, 780 million people still don’t have access to safe and clean water… it’s estimated that 1.5 million people – and 90% of them children – die every year from consuming untreated or contaminated water.”

ChildFund Australia collaborated on the project, helping the students better understand the local conditions and water-use habits.

The total cost of the system was $67, and it contains parts that are relatively easy to replace. Tests revealed that high densities of pathogens were wiped out to near-undetectable levels in as little as 30 minutes, and that as much as 40 litres could be treated every four hours.

Developments such as these show the importance of putting resources behind university education. Real-world solutions happen every day, we just have to get behind them.

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[img source] University of Adelaide bit.ly/1x1cmXN