Proven Technology with a Sustainable Approach

AguaClara technologies have a 12 year track record of serving resource-limited communities in Honduras and India; 14 plants have been built in Honduras, serving 65,000 people in total and 4 plants have been built in India, serving 2,000 people in total. The systems are designed to be sustainable in remote and off-grid areas.

 

Approach to Sustainability

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Local Focus

Systems are built using locally-available materials by local labor.

Gravity Power

Systems require no electricity to run, keeping operation affordable.

Simple Operation

Systems can be operated by a person with a 6th grade education.

Smart Tech, Not High Tech

AguaClara Reach designs systems that treat surface waters for turbidity and pathogens for communities between 300 and 50,000 people. The systems treat both high and low turbidity water, turbidity being a measure of the cloudiness of water. The World Health Organization has established the standard for safe drinking water at  5 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) or less. For both high and low turbidity, our methods reliably treat water to levels of 0.3 NTUs or less. Because our systems do not require any electricity to run, the operation and maintenance cost is 33% of that of conventional mechanized systems.

 
Water entering an AguaClara plant (left) for treatment, compared to water leaving an AguaClara plant (right) after treatment.
 

Full Scale Plant

For raw water coming in at up to 1000 NTU we design full-scale plants that can support populations of 1,000-50,000 people. These plants are built on-site as a civil work. Water is treated in the five step process train shown below.

We've seen this before! Why is this special?

AguaClara technologies take conventional turbidity removal and disinfection processes, and through continued research at Cornell University, makes them simpler, more affordable, faster, and more effective. Therefore, we can install high-performing technologies that remote communities can maintain independently. Some key innovations include:

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The Hydrodoser

A hydraulic chemical dosing system that delivers an accurate amount of chemical to raw water, even as raw water flow rates fluctuate, without using electronics, sensors or pumps. The system automatically turns on and off and the operator manually sets the dose using a simple slider system. This system can be used to dose virtually any chemical, and is most commonly used to inject coagulant and chlorine.

High-Rate Flocculation-Sedimentation

Our enhanced flocculation-sedimentation process produces a floc blanket that is highly efficient at removing turbidity, even at low influent turbidity levels. The unique sedimentation geometry makes the system self-cleaning, where sludge is simply removed by opening a drain valve.

Stacked Rapid Sand (StaRS) Filtration

Our unique StaRS filters take clarified water and divide the flow among 6 vertically stacked layers of sand. The design results in 1/6 as much area and 1/6 as much backwash water as a conventional rapid sand filter. A unique siphoning system allows the operator to backwash by simply opening and closing a 1/2" air valve.

But does it work?

See for yourself! You can access live performance data for the AguaClara plants running in Honduras.

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PF 300

Like the Full Scale Plant, the PF 300 can treat raw water for up to 1,000 NTU of turbidity and pathogens and uses the same five step treatment train. The PF 300 is a pre-fabricated version of the Full Scale Plant that can run at 1 liter per second, suitable for communities of 300 people. Multiple PF 300s can be run side by side to serve communities of up to 1000 people. The PF 300 still maintains the principles of local material availability, simplicity, and affordability.

Filtration-Disinfection

For communities with water sources that have turbidities no greater than 50 NTU, direct filtration followed by disinfection is sufficient to treat the water to the required standards. Water from lowland sanitary wells often meets this criteria. Since well water often needs to be pumped to serve communities that live uphill from the water source, our StaRS filters are designed to accommodate widely varying flow rates that can come with solar pumping. They can also be applied to gravity flow water supply systems.

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EStaRS Filters

For smaller applications, we build Enclosed Stacked Rapid Sand (EStaRS) filters, which can run at as little as 0.8 liters per second. These are prefabricated in large diameter pipes, and can serve communities as small as 200 people.

OStaRS Filters

For larger applications, we build Open Stacked Rapid Sand (OStaRS) Filters, which can run up to 70 liters per second. These are built on site as a civil work, and this is the type that will most often be built as part of our full scale plants.

Hydrodoser

The Hydrodoser is a modular, easy to install unit that, on its own, can be used to dose chlorine to disinfect water that has no more than 5 NTU of turbidity. Since this typically only occurs in well waters that must be pumped uphill to supply communities, the Hydrodoser is designed to handle fluctuating flow rates that occur with solar pumps, although it can also be applied to gravity supply systems. The Hydrodoser can be designed for virtually any flow rate, allowing us to serve communities as small as 200 people up to 50,000 people. The Hydrodoser may be combined with existing water treatment infrastructure to take care of the pathogen removal step.