BioSand Water Filters

Trailblazer Foundation

Solution Overview & Benefits

The filtration media consists of a layer of gravel, a layer of course sand, and a layer of fine sand. There is a plastic diffuser plate above the water level to avoid disturbing the naturally occurring bio-layer. It is the bio-layer which holds the key bacteria essential to removing biological pathogens and parasites. Water travels through the layer of biologically active sand and gravel which traps and degrades sediment, parasites and 98% bacteria.

Operation and maintenance is simple and within the capabilities of any user. Water poured through the filter processes at a rate of .6 liters per minute, which provides sufficient water fast enough to keep up with a family’s demand for clean water. Each filter can optimally filter 50 to 80 liters of water per day.

History & Development

The availability of potable water is decreasing as the world’s population increases. In Cambodia, 1 in 7 children die before the age of five from preventable diseases such as typhoid, malnutrition, malaria, dengue. The common denominator in many of these is waterborne illness.

To address this issue Trailblazer is constructing and providing bio-sand water filters. They are a low cost way to provide potable water to impoverished areas from any water source (i.e.: pump wells, pit wells, rivers, ponds).


Publicly available: yes
Countries where available: Cambodia
Price range (USD): 20 to 50 USD
Countries where spare parts can be purchased: Cambodia

Additional Information

Solution Providers Website (external link)

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