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Published: Jun 13, 2013 2:10:43 PM
Ilan Adler*, Karen Hudson-Edwards** and Luiza Campos* (*Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, UCL** Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London): Drinking the rain: Quality issues and technological advances
With growing pressures on natural resources worldwide, rainwater harvesting (MN( is fast becoming a viable drinking water supply for an expanding population. Notwithstanding, microbiological and chemical contamination from roof-top runoff has been detected above water quality guidelines, posing a health risk for consumers. Our research explores the use of silver ions, combined with filtration and settling mechanisms, as a safe and affordable model for purification that can be applied at a small scale. Pilot systems have been installed and monitored for this study in rural communities of San Miguel de Allende, in central Mexico, where groundwater is either lacking or contaminated. Our experiments so far show that the system with all its components, including settling tank, filters and silver ionizer, has the potential to provide quality drinking water from harvested rain, employing safe concentrations of silver ions.