Since 2006, Trailblazer Foundation's main mission has been to improve health conditions in Cambodia's rural areas by providing access to safe drinking water. Trailblazer works with villages on drilling wells for access to water and distributing bio-sand water filters for potable water.
The quality of the water and the efficiency of the filters has been tested in the past. However, the environment around the wells and filters may have changed, sources of pollution may be present and have an influence on the quality of the water. Therefore, Trailblazer conducted a study on the quality of drilling water and filtered water in early 2019.
Eight villages in the province of Siem Reap were selected for this study, the analyzes were carried out on 8 wells and their 8 associated filters. Given the similarity of the plots and the small size of the villages, they were representative of the other wells and filters present in the villages. The water used in the villages came from wells that are about 25 meters deep, but this water is not drinkable because it contains pathogens that can cause diseases. The biosand filters installed by Trailblazer can treat this water and make it drinkable.
In a village, a well is installed per plot and a filter is installed for a household of about 5 people. Several homes can share the same well, in this case wells were very close to homes. All the studied wells were installed on plots with potential sources of pollution: presence of fenced-in or free-roaming animals, latrines, garbage, wastewater thrown open. We found these elements on the majority of the parcels of a village. The studied filters were between two to four years old.
Trailblazer used a local laboratory in Siem Reap for conducting the testing of the water samples. The laboratory enforces the drinking water quality standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The analysis of water quality in these eight villages verified the effectiveness of bio-sand filters installed by Trailblazer. Indeed the well water was naturally full of Iron and Manganese which makes it unfit for consumption. In addition, the wells were subject to bacteriological pollution which was due to faecal contamination. This contamination can be explained by the presence of animals (pigs, poultry, bovins) and latrines on the plots. Effluent seeps into the soil and contaminates the water.
Results of the tests show that the bio-sand water filters Trailblazer installed are still eliminating this pollution, even after two to four years of use, and makes the water drinkable. There is no doubt that the consumption of water cleansed by bio-sand filters reduces the health risk for the populations.
We wish to thank all our supporters who have given the gift of clean water for a rural family that received a bio-sand water filter each year from Trailblazer. Hundreds of people are experiencing improved health through clean water and have hope of a better life.
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