As a social enterprise, Wateroam has been dedicated to fighting prolonged thirst since 2014.
At the helm of our operations, the ROAMfilter Plus spearheads our charge toward greater accessibility to clean water. A brainchild of our three co-founders, the ROAMfilter Plus is the product of the profound understanding of harsh circumstances communities face in disaster-stricken zones and an ingenious application of water filtration technology. The result? An easily portable and highly effective water filtration tool that has brought clean water to nearly 100,000 people in 38 countries.
UF membranes discriminate based on particle size, otherwise known as size exclusion; therefore, only particles that are smaller than these pores are allowed to pass. UF typically uses membranes with pore sizes measuring around 0.01μm - 0.1μm in diameter; Microfiltration and nanofiltration are examples of other filtration techniques that work in a similar way. Microfiltration techniques have pores bigger than UF, while nanofiltration techniques have pores sizes smaller than UF.
Here at Wateroam, our membranes have pore sizes that measure only 0.02µm in diameter! At just 0.000282µm, water molecules can pass through these pores easily while 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.99% of viruses cannot. Our membranes filter out dangerous pathogens, and anything larger such as dirt, sediment, and sand, also known collectively as suspended solids.
To better visualize this, take a look at the size chart below that compares the pores in our membranes to other substances found in unsafe, dirty water including biological and physical contaminants that cause adverse effects on human health when consumed. You can read whether your drinking water is safe for consumption in this blog!
You might be wondering why Wateroam doesn’t use nanofiltration technology, since it offers even smaller pore sizes? The answer is simple: context. To conduct either nanofiltration or UF, a force must be generated to first drive the unfiltered water across the membrane. With nanofiltration technology, generating a force that would allow effective filtration through the smaller pore sizes often requires electricity. In many disaster zones, electricity is a luxury that is difficult or even impossible to come by. For example, a 2010 earthquake in Chile caused a power outage that affected 93% of the country, in turn disrupting the functioning of critical services including health, traffic control and water supply. By listening to the needs of these communities, our UF-designed filters are able to produce high quality drinking water without relying on electricity.
This is possible because the membranes within the ROAMfilter Plus adopt a hollow fiber membrane design. This means that our membranes are straw-like tubes with tiny pores all over their surface. Many of these tubes are bundled together and arranged vertically within the filter cartridge, which in turn encases an internal piston chamber. You can see this depicted in the above image.
As water passes through the pores, clean water is then released from the Front Tap and ready for consumption.
Through and through, the ROAMfilter Plus has been successful in alleviating the lives of thousands worldwide. But our journey doesn’t stop here! We continually strive to improve existing methods of filtration and explore new technology to improve the life, living and livelihood of individuals across the globe.
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Marcus is a water evangelist whose passion lies in ending prolonged thirst.