BioSand water filter system

BioSand water filter system


Safe Drinking Water Solution.

OHorizons is a non-profit coalition of technical, social, and commercial innovators. They solve persistent global challenges that limit communities’ ability to survive and thrive. OHorizons do this by leveraging its global network of specialists to develop and deploy solutions that are characterized as Low-Tech, High-Thinking. Their projects focus on ensuring every community, no matter how remote or difficult to reach, has access to safe water. Its network has developed an innovative, scalable, low-tech solution that will empower communities all over the world to gain access to safe drinking water.

One of the key solutions it has come up to solve the problem of dirty water is the BioSand Filter and DIY Wood Mold.


BioSand Filters (BSFs) use sand, gravel, and natural biological processes to filter out contaminants in water, making it safe for drinking. BSFs effectively eliminate cholera, typhoid, E coli, amoebic dysentery, and many additional pathogens that are harmful to humans. They’re a great low-tech drinking water solution.

  • Very effective at removing bacteria, protozoa, and helminths (parasitic worms) from water, and at reducing turbidity
  • Made with 100% locally available materials (unlike larger community based systems where foreign parts typically need to be imported)
  • Very durable, can last more than 20 years (if maintained properly)
  • Labor intensive NOT capital intensive to manufacture
  • No electricity or running parts required to operate the filter
  • Little maintenance required

The DIY Wood Mold OHorizons has engineered is an innovative technology that makes it cheaper, faster, and easier to produce concrete BioSand Filters. Because the Wood Mold is so inexpensive and easy to make, anyone, anywhere can bring clean water access to their community. You can find its Wood Mold Construction Manual and Appendix on the Resources Page. These step-by-step instructional documents are open-source and free to download.



Advantages of the Wood Mold

  • Inexpensive ($70-$100/mold including cost of labor)
  • Locally-Sourced Materials (all materials purchased in-country and easily replaced)
  • Easy to use (no special skills or previous construction experience necessary)
  • Durable (+50 filters/mold)
  • Can be made off-grid and on-location. (no electricity required)
  • Rapidly increases filter production capacity. It can scale!

To find out more about the work OHorizons is engaged in visit:


Photo and images copyright to OHorizons

Tags: socent news, social business news, DIY Wood Mold, OHorizons, BioSand Filters, BSFs, water, drinking water, safe water, social innovators


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