If people have wells then why do they need a TivaWater filter?
Good question. Many people think wells and in-home filters are an either/or option for families. If they have access to a well, they don’t need a filter, and if they have a filter, they don’t need wells. However, this isn’t true…. let us explain.
Above: children and woman collect water for their families from a well.
Wells are important because they give people access to water and it is typically safe to drink. Further, more wells mean that people have less distance to walk to collect their water (this saves time, money and increases safety of the people collecting water). But this doesn’t solve the whole problem. Even if people drink water from wells, they have a big risk of still getting sick.
In many developing nations, water is collected in jerrycans. Many times, the jerrycan is dirty and contains dangerous bacteria- so even if the water goes in clean to begin with- it ends up getting recontaminated. Another huge risk is that water is often stored in open containers in the home. This is a major risk factor for recontamination because people use cups and dip their cup/hand down into the open water. Hands are very dirty and when they dip a cup into the water, it’s contaminated all over again. In fact, it is estimated that happens 50% of the time.
Above: girl carrying water home in her jerrycan.
Below: storage pot for water
Unfortunately, wells can also become contaminated over time. This isn’t only a risk for “open wells”, but closed ones as well. Researchers aren’t totally sure exactly why this happens, but their best guess is because people congregate around the wells, so do livestock and other animals, and eventually, somehow, bacteria makes its way down into the well.
To make sure water is safe to drink, water needs to be cleaned and safely stored in the home, at the point of use. (source: The World Health Organization).
As you can see, it is important to have both access to water in addition to a method that cleans water in the home, which is kept in a safe (closed) storage container.
And that is exactly what the TivaWater filter does- cleans the water at home and keeps it safe in the container!