Remediation of Water Pollutants and Pathogens within Household Water in Rural South India


  • David Perez Florida State University


Water Quality, Sand Filter, India, NGO


Unsafe drinking water is recognized as a leading factor in diarrheal diseases responsible for about 1.8-2.5 million annual children deaths globally, six hundred thousand deaths alone coming from India[3].

In a partnership with the Indian Social Service Institute (ISSI) and the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, a field study was designed to assist in the development of techniques to construct low-cost water filtration devices called bio-sand filters (BSFs) for the local rural community.

Laboratory and a two-month pilot study was conducted in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu from May 2016 to July 2016 to evaluate the performance of the BSF under various setups, to investigate long-term removal efficiencies and to improve the filter design. BSFs were constructed by myself and staff members of ISSI. Aquarium water test kits were used to conduct water analysis of influent water, standing water within BSF and effluent discharge.

Water analysis did not indicate a growth of a biological layer, called Shmutzdecke, meaning the method for assembly of a BSF must be configured for greater efficacy.

In open discussion, the students of the institute were adamant of the need to have a water remediation system at home to stay diarrheal episodes.

Author Biography

David Perez, Florida State University

This project is a continuation of a UROP assistanship that took place during the 2015-2016 academic year. Assisted by the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering environmental engineering program, the assistanship was converted into a study abroad directed independent study overseen by Dr Clayton Clark. The study took place in Pudukkottai, India throghout summer 2016.


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