Characterization of the Biological Layer (Biofilm) of the Biosand Filter System
Water is essential to sustain daily life for all inhabitants of the world. Clean freshwater is a shrinking resource and has become a limiting commodity in large parts of the globe. Overuse, pollution, and contamination in underdeveloped countries has contributed to this dire issue. An inexpensive remedy is the potential for development and use of the Biosand filter in every household, as it delivers safe filtered potable water. Indeed, hundreds of HydrAid Biosand filters are in use the world over at present. However, where as the physical filtration of particulate impurities through graded sand is well understood, no scientific understanding of the role of the biofilm (presumably through an active food web), in ridding the water of pathogens and pollutants, exists. This study is designed to address this void by rigorously studying the structure and function (role) of the biofilm in the Biosand Filter system using modern microscopic and other analytical tools. Findings are expected to contribute to the basic scientific understanding of biofilm structure and function as well as establish a sound scientific basis for the operation of the Biosand filter system thereby enabling its widespread use in regions with questionable water quality and improving human health and welfare.
Key objectives for this study are:
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