Clean Water for people in Mexico and Thailand

This project addresses the global problem of providing clean running water for essential practices such as hand washing and daily baths to small communities in developing countries. This is a problem that received renewed attention in 2020 because of the importance of hand washing in the fight against COVID-19. It is not a new problem, however, since health problems due to poor sanitation hold back sustainable development lead to economic and social problems on a large scale worldwide. WAITRO members in Mexico and Thailand saw a common problem in how to provide clean water to small communities efficiently and at low cost, and found common interests in using plant-based systems to clean bacteria, nutrients, and possibly even viral contamination from waste water.

In rural of Mexico there is often insufficient infrastructure either for delivering water or for treatment of wastewater. In Mexico overall, 10% of the population (rising to 24% in Veracruz) does not have access to water in their home, which represents a health and hygiene problem. Veracruz State can be treated by existing conventional treatment facilities.

Early results showed a reduction in chemical oxygen demand, nutrients and phosphates. As a bonus, biomass from the plants can be harvested every 45 days or so, depending on the weather, and converted into biogas. When the advent of COVID-19 highlighted the need for good hygiene everywhere, INECOL therefore posted a challenge to SAIRA to look f