Q&A with humanitarian, water filter inventors

By George Culver, ’12

Q&A with Suzanne Livingston, Friendly Water for the World

What is your mission?

(Taken from Friendly Water for the World website)The Mission of Friendly Water for the World is to expand access to low-cost clean water technologies and information about health and sanitation to people in need of them. We provide opportunities for Quakers and those of other faiths and traditions to partner with individuals and communities working to improve living conditions around the world, and to learn from each other.

What is a biofilter?

(Taken from Friendly Water for the World website) The Biosand Water Filter is a low-cost, appropriate household technology that can remove 95-99% of bacteria and viruses from the water supply, as well as some metals such as arsenic, iron, and manganese, and worms and cysts. It is a proven method for preventing typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and other waterborne diseases.


How much does it cost to make a filter?

The Raw material cost is about $12. The entire filter takes about $50 to make. Several fundraising methods are adopted to raise the money.

Favorite Quote of the Interview:

Suzanne: “I think it’s God’s way of cleaning water.

How can PLU students get involved?

Students can find more way to get involved by visiting Friendlywaterfor world.com There are also summer training sessions for students to make bio-water filters.

How clean does the water get from these filters?

99.5 percent clean.

Random Facts:

Fact #1: 1 in 5 children die every day from water borne illnesses

Fact #2: If people with aids get clean water, they will live 7 years longer

What stands out when you go to Africa?

The roads are horrible! They are in such terrible conditions that it takes about two hours to get to somewhere that is ten miles away.

It Also surprises me that almost every adult in Kenya has a cell phone. They only pay for outgoing calls though. You can even call the United States for about 3 cents per minute. The phone plans are pretty good!

What do you want PLU students to get from you being here?

I just want students to be aware that there are ways to help that are simple and not too expensive. You can be a support team to people who are making change


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One response to “Q&A with humanitarian, water filter inventors”

  1. rural says :

    From http://coway2u.com/ reviews it’s important to know what, if any, contaminants are in your water before you buy a filter. Then you can match the filter to the problem. Also consider how much water you consume vs. how much effort and disruption to your daily routine you’re willing to tolerate. Generally, the more contaminants you need to remove, the more complicated the filter, though there are trade-offs to every choice.

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