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Drop of Hope - How to clean the BioSand Filter

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Optional: Download English BioSand Filter PowerPoint - 'Clean the Filter '

Educating the user how to Clean the Filter

The users must know how to clean the filter.

There are 2 ways they must clean the filter.

•  Wash the diffuser, lid, and the outside of the outlet tube.

•  Whenever the flow rate gets too slow, they should do a Swirl and Dump to make the flow rate faster again.

Cleaning the parts of the filter

The diffuser collects dirt and large particles that are in the water.

It may get very dirty. The dirt will not harm the drinking water, since the water is filtered after it touches the diffuser. But it is a good idea to clean the diffuser. Cleaning the dirt off the diffuser will help keep the dirt from clogging the sand. It will help keep the flow rate from getting too slow.

It is also good to wash the lid. If the family stores anything on top of the lid, it should be clean. Also, it will look nicer if it is clean.

•  Once a week, wash the diffuser and lid in soapy water. Then rinse them in clear water.

•  You do not have to use safe, filtered water to wash the diffuser and lid. But the water should be as clean and clear as possible.

•  If you don't want to put the lid into the water, you can wipe it with a clean, wet cloth.

  It is important to keep the outlet tube clean. Sometimes the outside of the tube can get dirty. This may make the drinking water dirty again. This is one reason the water should be disinfected after being filtered.

•  Once a week, wipe the outside of the outlet tube.

•  Use a cloth with chlorine. Let the tube air-dry

•  If you do not have chlorine or bleach, use a wet soapy cloth

•  Then use a clean, wet cloth to rinse off the soap.

Use filtered water to clean the outlet tube .

The user should NEVER put chlorine inside the outlet pipe or into the top of the filter!

Swirl and Dump


1. Take off the lid. Pour water into the filter until the water level is above the diffuser. Take out the diffuser.

2. Put your hand flat on the sand. Swirl the surface of the sand around in a circle a few times.


3. Use a cup or small bucket to scoop out the dirty water from the top of the filter.


4. Pour the dirty water down a drain or into the bushes. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 a few times


5. Make the top of the sand flat and level.


6. Wash the lid and diffuser in soapy water. Rinse with clear water.



7. Put the diffuser back in the filter.


8. Wash your hands with soap and water. This is important since the top of the sand is very dirty.



9. Pour a bucket of water into the top of the filter. If the flow rate is still too slow, repeat the Swirl and Dump until the flow rate is faster.

Safe water storage

Safe storage means keeping the water from getting contaminated again. If hands, dippers, cups, or anything else touch the water, it will become unsafe to drink again.

Open buckets are not safe storage since anything could fall into the bucket and contaminate the water.

How to clean a safe storage container

1. Wash your hands with soap.



2. Wash the inside and outside of the container and its lid with soap and treated water. It can be boiled, filtered, SODIS or Chlorinated water.



3. Empty the soapy water through the container's tap.



4. Rinse the container and lid using treated water. It can be boiled, filtered, SODIS or Chlorinated water.


5. Empty the rinse water through the container's tap.

6. Let the container and lid air-dry.



7. Wipe the tap with a clean cloth and chlorine.



8. Put chlorine tablets or drops into the container. Fill the container with treated water. Let it sit for 30 minutes.



9. Empty the chlorinated water through the tap. You can drink this water or dump it down a drain.

View on YouTube How to clean safe storage containers

Using your treated water

It is important to protect your treated water and keep it from getting dirty again.

It is best if the safe storage container has a tap. If there is no tap, pour the water out. You should be able to get the water out of the safe storage container without using a cup or dipper.

What NOT to do!

Cups and dippers can be dirty from sitting on the counter or table, or from people touching them with their hands. Dirt and pathogens from hands, a cup or dipper will go into the water. Then the water may make you sick when you drink it.

Use the filtered water as soon as possible .

Try to use it all within 1 day. This reduces the change of recontamination.

The first water poured through the filter in the morning will be the best quality

(because it has sat in the filter overnight).

Save this water for drinking. Use the water that you pour through the filter later in the day for other uses like cooking and washing.

Shona Disinfect the filtered water.

English Disinfect the filtered water.

You can disinfect it by using chlorine or boiling. Disinfection will kill any pathogens left in the water after filtration. Adding chlorine to your filtered water will also protect it against being contaminated again- the chlorine will kill any new pathogens that get into the water while it is being stored.


Download Handout #15 - Educating the user to Clean the Filter English Educational Handout

Follow-Up with the User

It is important to visit the users after they start using the filter. People forget the details about how to use and clean the filter, so you will need to remind them. This will be covered in our final Handout.

Finally the Shona Follow Up

Finally the English Follow Up



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