Issue of October 8, 2017
Mt. Province

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Bauko potters ready to mass produce ceramic water filters
by Ofelia C. Empian

A potter’s association in Bauko, Mountain Province is now ready for the mass production of ceramic water filters seen to provide cleaner water to poor communities without access to potable drinking water.

Department of Science and Technology Asst. Regional Director Nancy Bantog said they have finished the capacity building and training with the Bila Potter’s Association.

The Bila Potter’s Association was tapped by the local government of Bauko for the project and has been identified by DOST as a local adaptor of the technology on ceramic water-filter to take advantage of presence of clay in the municipality.

Bantog said the organization has produced 2,000 units of the ceramic water filter, which will be sold to poor communities in the region. She said they have identified markets such as the communities in Tineg, Abra and Tinoc, Ifugao, which are among the impoverished and remotest towns in the region.

The agency has also earlier deployed ceramic water filters, which was outsourced from DOST-Region II, to some communities in Tanudan, Kalinga.

“In line with DOST’s program under community empowerment for science and technology wherein we will deploy these units to vulnerable communities that do not have access to potable water,” Bantog said. 

She said the agency has conducted a series of water tests to these communities’ water sources where they found out that the latter were contaminated and unsafe for human consumption. 

Bantog said they are advocating the ceramic water filters to the Office of the Civil Defense, Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to be used by local households and those living in disaster-stricken areas particularly core shelters in the Cordillera.

The ceramic water filters have an estimated cost of P510 per unit and will be displayed during the 2017 Regional Science and Technology Week set on Oct. 10 to 14 in Kalinga.

Once done by hand, pottery making in Barangay Bila has been upgraded with mechanized equipment having P4.7 million-worth of facilities and equipment given to the beneficiaries Bauko LGU and Bila Potter’s Association for the project launched in 2015. The LGU provided the area for the construction of the facility while DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute provided the equipment and training needed by the community to run the project.

During production, clay is mixed with water and other combustible materials. Water impurities like suspended particles are sifted because these cannot pass through the clay pores. Meanwhile, water that flows through the spaces in between the slightly-porous clay reacts with trapped silver ions. Silver ions deactivate and kill the pathogens in the water, including coliform bacteria and protozoa.

Microfiltration, like ceramic-based micro filters, is a proven technique to eliminate microbial contaminants. Based on this, the Industrial Technology and Development Institute of the DOST provided the unique ceramic filtration system using local materials in Barangay Bila.

“Capable na ang organization to do the production of ceramic water filter units,” Bantog said.

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