Low-cost Water Treatment

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In 2011 D9710 (southeastern NSW and the ACT) joined efforts with D3330 in  southern Thailand to hold a Rotary study exchange examining water and sanitation issues in each country. The Australian team members, young professionals aged 25-35, found there were many villages in southern Thailand without ready access to clean drinking water, unless it is purchased in bottle form.

The Australian study team made a promise to work with the Thailand Rotarian’s to develop low-cost water treatment systems for some of these villages. In 2013 a proposal came from the Ploi Ratchaburi Rotary Club to build small-scale water treatment systems at two primary schools in Ratchaburi province. The water treatment systems involved a multi-stage filtering system to remove solids and chemicals from the local surface and groundwater supplies. A small membrane filter unit and an ultraviolet disinfection system ensure the treated water is consistently of a high standard. A vending machine added to the systems would allow community members to purchase clean water in bulk at a much lower price than is available via the marketplace. The community water sales will be used to pay for quarterly maintenance of he water treatments systems.

The proposal was reviewed by the Australian GSE team and developed into a funding application for The Rotary Foundation. Through the Rotary system of matching grants US$7,000 in contributions from Australian Rotary clubs, including the Rotary Club of Berry, was able to secure the US$36,000 required to build the two water treatment systems including, tanks, filters, electrical supplied and refurbishments to buildings.

The two water treatment systems, at Wat Na Nong and Wat Thai Mueang schools were officially opened in July 2014. These projects will provide over 300 students and 4,000 local residents with access to clean water for drinking and hand washing.

Location: Thailand (Rotary District 3330)
Town: Ratchaburi
Cost: US$436,000

Benefit to the community: affordable drinking water available to 4,000 villagers including 300 school children.

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