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Gota de Esperança - Introdução ao FBA

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Optional: Download English BioSand Filter PowerPoint - Introduction

BioSand Filter (BSF)


BioSand Filter (BSF) was invented in the 1990s by Dr. David Manz at the University of Calgary and put simply; the BSF is a household water filter that makes dirty water safe to drink.

This particular type of filter is an adaptation of the traditional slow sand filter, which has been used for community water treatment for almost 200 years. The BSF is smaller and adapted for intermittent use, making it most suitable for households, typically around five people. The filter body, or the outside of the filter (also known as the filter container), is commonly made of concrete.

More recently OHorizons Charitable Solutions has developed a wooden mold and we will be focusing on this model.

Download The OHorizons Wood Mold for Concrete BioSand Filters Instruction Manual

Regardless of the filter body type, a BSF is filled with carefully prepared layers of sand and gravel.

The BSF removes almost all of the dirt and pathogens from water up to 99%! The BSF is a great low-tech answer to purify drinking water and is used in communities all over the world

In countries where people don't have running water in their home and have to use pond or standing water, a BioSand Filter is a great technology to give people clean, safe water that doesn't make them sick.

The Biolayer and the sand in the filter help remove the pathogens that make people sick.

Since 2008 United Caribbean Trust has worked with organisations like 'Clean Water for Haiti' to introduce the BioSand Water Filtration system into Haiti. This is because we, like other International organizations such as Ohorizons, feel it is the most accessible, affordable (Less than US $100), easy to use, easy to maintain, and most durable design.

Using sand, gravel and natural biological processes, the BSF filters out pathogens using no electricity or complicated parts. It can be made with 100% locally available materials and requires little maintenance over time. If used properly, a BSF can provide a family with clean water for life.

Traditionally, concrete BSF have been cast in a steel mold. These molds are not only expensive and heavy, but they require a skilled welder and access to specialized tools and electricity. This limits the scale and distribution of BSFs, particularly in remote, rural areas.

OHorizons has taken the accessibility of the BSF a step further by creating a Wood Mold that is used to create concrete BSF . It is durable (around 50-60 filters made per mold), affordable (approximately $50-$80 per mold), lightweight (around 60lbs), uses 100% locally sourced materials, is easy to use, and can be made off-grid. Ohorizon's Wood Mold can be made by anyone, even if they have no construction experience, using only simple tools thanks to Ohorizon's highly visual construction manual we can empower communities to gain access to clean water throughout Africa, Haiti and South America.

Stop Microbes - Get Good Water:

Key Message: You can have good water if you from protect the water source, treat your water and store your treated water safely.

Possible Questions:

If post is used as an introduction:

•  What do you see on this page?

•  How do you think these activities will help make your family healthier?

If poster is used as a review:

•  How can you get good water?

Optional: Download 'Stop Microbes get good water' poster to assist with the teaching.

Optional: Download 'Stop Microbes - Get Good Water' Educational Handout for the parents or guardian. (To be translated into Portuguese)

Drinking good water will help stop the transfer of microbes and prevent you and your family from getting sick.

First, you must Protect Your Source water. Rainwater should be stored in a closed container with a lid to prevent microbes from entering. Wells should be covered, with a channel to divert wastewater away, to prevent microbes getting in. Surface water sources like ponds should be fenced to stop animals. Springs should be protected with a spring or catchment box.

Second, you can Treat Your Water in the home to ensure the water is safe for the family. Water treatment includes three steps: sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. There are many good ways to treat your water. We will talk more about household water treatment in the next posters.

To Protect Your Treated Water use a storage container with a lid. A good storage container has a tap or narrow opening to pour out the water. Do not store your water in open containers. Stored water becomes contaminated with microbes if you use a cup or dipper to get the water out. Teach children to pour out the water when they need to drink or use a storage container with a tap.

Check for Understanding:

If poster is used as an introduction:

•  What are some ways to get good water?

If poster is used as a review:

•  How do we protect our source water?

•  Is it necessary to treat our water before drinking it?

•  What are some examples of methods to treat the water?

•  What type of storage containers will keep our treated water safe?

Information sourced from CAWST.org

Filter Your Water - Biosand Filter

Optional: Download Biosand Filter poster

Optional: Download Weekly English Educational Handouts will be given to the children to take home to thier parents. (To be translated into Portuguese)

Compliments of CAWST resources

Key Message: The BioSand Filter can provide good quality water.

Possible Questions:

•  Have you ever seen or used a biosand filter?

•  How do you think the biosand filter works?


The biosand filter can remove most microbes and sediment from the source water. The filter box is made of concrete or plastic. Inside the filter are layers of sand and gravel (top to bottom). The diffuser plate helps slow down the water.

A biolayer develops on the surface of the sand. The water slowly passes through the biolayer, sand and gravel. These layers remove the microbes. Filtered water flows out the tube. Place the storage container up on a block or stand so that the opening is just under the spout. If the source water is dirty, use a sedimentation method before pouring it into the filter.

Advantages :

•  Removes most microbes

•  Removes some sediment

•  No on-going costs

•  Made from local materials

•  Filtered water tastes good

Disadvantages :

•  Heavy - should not be moved after installation

•  May need to sediment water before using filter

•  Cannot remove all colour

How to use the filter:

•  Place a clean storage container under the filter spout, as close to the spout as possible

•  Remove the lid on the filter

•  Ensure that the diffuser plate is in place- do not pour water directly onto the sand layer

•  Slowly pour untreated water into the filter - fill it full

•  Replace the lid

•  Allow the water to drain through the filter completely

We still need to disinfect our treated water.

Here are some Do's and Don'ts when using the biosand filter.


•  Use your filter everyday

•  Protect the filter from weather

•  Use the lid

•  Keep animals away from the filter


•  Add chlorine to the biosand filter

•  Plug the outlet with a tap or hose

•  Store food inside the filter box (attracts ants, flies, cockroaches)

•  Allow children to play with the filter

Check for Understanding:

•  How does the biosand filter work?

•  How do you use the filter?

•  How often should you use your filter?

•  What happens when we store food in the filter box?

•  What are some of the do's and don'ts for using the biosand filter?

Information sourced from CAWST.org


Optional: Download 'Handout #1: BioSand Filter Introduction' English Educational Handout for the parents or guardian.

Optional: Download English Introduction to the BioSand Filter video


Optional: Download 'Protect your Community' poster

Compliments of CAWST resources


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