BYU engineering capstone project helps provide clean water to Pakistan

BYU engineering students test out their water filter project in the Botany Pond south of campus. 

Jaren Wilkey/BYU

BYU engineering students have designed an affordable water filtration device to help provide clean water in Pakistan, which has long been plagued by illnesses from unclean water.

Roughly 30% of diseases in Pakistan are the direct result of poor water quality, according to the National Library of Medicine, and a group of BYU engineering students decided to use their expertise and resources to help. 

The BYU team created a device that takes water through both microfiltration and ultrafiltration using affordable materials. 

Capstone coach Corry Cloward told BYU News that the system can filter down to .02 microns, which is a small enough measurement to remove bacteria like E. Coli, pathogens that cause waterborne illnesses, and viruses.

After multiple rounds of building the device the engineering capstone students at BYU tested the filtration system earlier this year in the school’s botany pond south of campus.

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“We set the device up at the edge of the pond, ran the tube down into the water and turned on the pump. When water came out of the filter for the first time, we were thrilled. It was as clear as glacier water,” BYU engineering team member, Bethany Parkinson said.

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The filtered water sample returned no harmful bacteria compared to the original pond water.

Peter F. Meurs, lead manager of the project, said that while in communication with government leaders of Pakistan they found the No. 1 issue they needed help with was water purification.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

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