Compare to LifeSaver Jerrycans?

Increase utility rate of bio-sand water filters in villages.

Compare to LifeSaver Jerrycans?

Postby H. Timothy Hsiao » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:09 pm

Hi Tien, Jay, and Hong,

Jen heard of this technology: ... ilter.html

Their Jerrycans might be more relevant to our client:
(See for the AID version jerrycans)

According to their estimate, the cost for water processing is £0.09p per litre (less than 1 British pence, i.e. US$ ~0.015 ):
and the processed water seems to be directly drinkable.
"Small Village - All of your money goes directly to the provision of LIFESAVER jerrycans.
All the costs of distribution are born by the very generous help of the Mahvash and
Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation. At just £0.09p per litre the LIFESAVER jerrycan is a very
cost effective tool allowing families and villages to provide their own clean drinking water.
Your £135 contribution will provide 1 LIFESAVER jerrycan to a small village of 50 people. It will process 15,000 litres of clean sterile drinking water. At 1.5 Litres each per day this will last a village of 50 people for over 6 Months."

While for the Biosand Filter, the estimated cost for water processing is:
US$ ~0.01
(according to ... and_Filter)
This is cheaper compared to the Jerrycan, but it seems people still need to boil the water before drinking.

How would you evaluate these two options for our client?


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: alternative water filtration system
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2010 21:57:10 -0500
From: Jen
To: Tim

Hi Tim,

I was telling a friend of mine about the Biosand filter project, and
he recalled a TED talk about a different water sanitation technology.
Check it out: ... ilter.html


H. Timothy Hsiao
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:10 am

Re: Compare to LifeSaver Jerrycans?

Postby ciardubain » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:33 am

Hi all,

I have attached a comparison between bio-sand filters and the lifesaver jerry can technology. I welcome any feedback you may have.

Short summary:
Biosand filters seem to be cheaper per liter when compared to livesaver jerrycan technology mostly due to their much longer usable lifetime.

Livesaver jerrycans are much easier to use, portable, and require little to no education, whereas bio-sand filters are moderately involved, stationary, and require moderate education.

Clearly, the lifesaver technology is superior in disaster or emergency situations because they are safe to use immediately and guarantee sterile water. I am not convinced that the bio-sand filters are superior for long term use, simply because of the overhead of education and more importantly, buy-in and upkeep from the recipients of the filters. This is a tough call when trying to balance a "green" approach with a practical one. It seems bio-sand filters are much "greener" and lifesaver jerrycans are much more practical.

Use of the lifesaver technology would set up a dependancy on aid organizations and/or distributors for a supply of replacement filter cartidges. Conversely, when sufficiently educated, users of the bio-sand filter have negligible dependancy on aid organizations once the initial filter installation and education are complete.

As I said, I welcome and appreciate any feedback you may have.
biosand vs lifesaver jerrycan.pdf
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