MSU researcher proposes solution to bring clean, safe water to remote communities

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Joan Rose studied the multibarrier biofilm foam filter as a low-cost alternative to household water filtration methods. (view larger image)

It is estimated that one in nine people globally lack access to safe water. Michigan State University (MSU) AgBioResearch scientist Joan Rose is looking to fill that critical need and provide safe drinking water to the most remote locations in the world with a new foam water filter that significantly reduces dangerous pathogens in drinking water.

Rose, Homer Nowlin Chair in water research in the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and author of a new study on the subject published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, examined a multibarrier biofilm foam filter as a low-cost alternative to household filtration methods.

“The foam filter is the first of its kind to address a wide range of the biological and economic factors that hinder development of remote water filtration systems,” said Rose. “This filter is easier to use and more effective than traditional methods.”

The filter features a unique biological layer, which allows organisms within the foam to attack foreign pathogens as water passes through. Growth of ‘friendly’ microorganisms in this layer enable the filter to become more efficient at reducing protozoa, bacteria and viruses over time. The newly discovered material also has other advantages such as ease of use, maintenance and affordability.

For the full story, please visit MSU Today.

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