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SOTRAD Manual Pump and Drink Unit

Postby Tom_Heath » 16 May 2012 07:29

Does anyone have any experience working with the company SOTRAD, in particular their Manual Pump and Drink Units (http://water.sotrad.be/index.php?page=pump-drink-units)?

I’m investigating using the units to supplement a small distribution system to increase the security of supply in DRC (following the recommendation of a donor rep). However, no one in my organisation has any experience with the company and I’m not prepared to install the units without knowledge of previous applications, as I’m very concerned about the unit’s sustainability

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16 May 2012 07:29

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Re: SOTRAD Manual Pump and Drink Unit

Postby JKMakowka » 16 May 2012 16:45

Not heard about them before (and I am working with a quite similar system at my current R&D job), but in their product description .pdf they have a few more information than on their Website:
http://water.sotrad.be/uploads/pdf/Glob ... _Light.pdf

It is a ultra filtration membrane system (membrane supplied by http://www.polymem.fr/ ) with the capability of manual air back-washing.

In general these kind of systems are quite sound (as I said, I am involved in the development of a similar system) and offer a very good bacteria and suspended solids retention (less but still significant for viruses), but no real improvement for other dissolved substances (salt, hardness, flouride, arsenic etc.).

However costs are usually quite high and the promised production capacity of 800l/h (Pump&Drink Unit) will go down quite a bit after some weeks or months (due to membrane fouling, depending on raw-water quality and air-backflush frequency and efficiency). Part of that loss will be possible to recover by chemical cleaning, but not to 100%. In a well maintained system I would expect 4-500l/h at maximum in the longer run, often realistically less... but that is really just a guess and depends on many parameters.
The lifetime of the membranes themselves is very long though, easily a decade or more.

I guess it comes down to the costs of it... if your donor is willing to supply the extra costs it is probably worth to test it at least. But in case the raw-water is already of very good quality (are we talking about the same gravity fed system, which is probably fed by some mountain spring?) it is probably not cost efficient.

Normally these kind of systems really shine in water with heavy bacterial pollution and relatively high turbidity, like badly maintained and located open-hand-dug wells with buckets for abstraction. Our system (not really for general sale and more geared toward emergency use) was just tested quite successfully in rural Bénin in such a case.
Especially due to the great turbidity removal it is usually also easy to convince users to utilize it... but if the source water is already visually clear, such systems usually don't provide sufficient -apparent- incentives for their use (especially if extra manual pumping is required). And due to their relatively low production and thus necessary supply of two quality levels, you get into all sorts of issues with explaining the difference between drinking water and wash-water with low hope to have a real separated use in the long run.

For inclusion into a gravity fed system the very similar SkyHydrant from http://www.skyjuice.com.au/ (no affiliation from my side) is probably better suited, as it is directly included into a pipeline and needs no extra pumping. But again... I question the cost effectiveness of such solution if raw-water quality is already relatively high (as one can expect in a spring fed pipeline system or one fed by a deep tube well pump).

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Re: SOTRAD Manual Pump and Drink Unit

Postby Rahul Pathak » 26 May 2012 15:47

Have a look at the EP series , www.aquaplusltd.com cost is USD 500, ex works pune, India

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