PROtectors in Action
In order to understand the real benefits of using PROtector water treatment systems, we need to take a look at them ‘in action’. This means an in-depth study of how the machines are received by communities, how they improve water quality, how easy they are to operate and maintain, and how durable they are ‘in the field’.



PROtector Pilot Program

Longech, Kenya

2. Program Setup and PROtector Installation

The prototype PROtector was shipped to Oxfam GB in Nairobi, Kenya, arriving in mid July 2010. After the necessary clearing and inspection process, the unit was transported by road to the Oxfam GB depot in Lodwar, Turkana – a distance of approx. 390km. Jim Ellis and George Rose arrived in Lodwar on 3rd September to meet with Oxfam personnel and inspect the unit before being delivered to the installation site in the village of Longech. A thorough inspection against the shipment inventory proved that all parts and components were present, and that there was no damage to the unit whilst in transit.

The main unit, weighing 560kg, was loaded by hand onto a flatbed Toyota Landcruiser for transport from Lodwar to Longech. The handle parts, membranes, ceramic filters and all fittings were loaded onto a separate vehicle. The transport of the unit from Lodwar to Longech (a distance of approx. 60km) was made early in the morning of the 4th September, whilst temperatures were still low and the sand fairly cohesive for good traction. The majority of the route was made via a 'reasonable' quality tarmac road, although the last part of the route around Fergusons Gulf was all through sand.  Due  to  the heavy load, it was crucial to
transport the unit at the time when the sand behaves more cohesively under tread, in order to prevent loss of traction and becoming stuck. The transport to Longech was successful, and the unit was lifted onto the specially prepared concrete platform.

The circular concrete platform, measuring approximately 7m in diameter and 1m in thickness had been constructed in the weeks preceding the installation, whilst the PROtector was in transit from the USA to Kenya via ocean freight. The 4.5m deep shallow well, which was adjoined to the concrete platform, was also constructed during this time. The well was sunk by hand, excavating sand and installing prefabricated concrete rings one at a time until the full depth had been achieved. The hardcore and cement required to construct the concrete platform was brought to the village via boat from the  nearby  town of
Kalokol, on the opposite side of Fergusons Gulf. The platform features three separate PVC hose conduits cast into the concrete, designed to safely carry the raw water intake, waste concentrate and fresh water hoses beneath the surface from the unit at the centre of the platform so that they are not trodden on when the machine is in use.

The installation procedure consisted of the following:
  1. Remove side and end panels for access to membrane housings.
  2. Remove membrane housing end caps (both inlet end, and outlet end).
  3. Remove RO membranes and fittings from packaging, and insert into membrane housings.
  4. Install spacers and O-rings to end caps, and fit end caps back onto membrane housings.
  5. Give a visual inspection of the interior of the system to ensure that no internal damge had occured during local trasit.
  6. Using steel poles as 'rollers', move PROtector into central position on concrete pad, aligning hose ports with hose conduits.
  7. Mark the location of the 4 ea. securing bolts, which will anchor the PROtector to the platform.
  8. Move the unit away, and drill out the 4 ea. holes to the depth and diameter required to insert the securing bolts.
  9. Move the unit back into position above the holes, insert the bolts, and backfill the holes around the bolts with new concrete – casting the bolts into the platform.
  10. Remove the 'rollers' from underneath the unit and lower it onto the platform, so that the 4 ea. securing bolts are anchoring the unit through the designated holes.
  11. Thread the reinforced suction hose through the raw water intake conduit, from the centre of the platform through to the other end at the top of the shallow well.
  12. Attach the stainless steel basket screen to the end of the suction hose using the hose barb.
  13. Ensure that the basket screen is secured to the end of the hose by tying steel rope around the basket and tying to the end of the intake conduit at the top of the well, once the basket has been lowered into the well to the required depth.
  14. Cut the suction hose as required at the end of the raw water intake conduit, to ensure a comfortable fit onto the raw water intake hose port of the PROtector.
  15. Thread standard hose through the waste concentrate conduit, from the centre of the platform through to the soakaway.
  16. Cut the waste concentrate hose as required at the end of the conduit, to ensure a comfortable fit onto the waste concentrate hose port of the PROtector.
  17. Thread standard hose through the fresh water dispensing conduit, from the centre of the platform through to the adjacent fresh water dispensing area.
  18. Cut the fresh water hose as required at the end of the conduit, to ensure a comfortable fit onto the fresh water hose port of the PROtector.
  19. Lift central handle spindle component onto the drive shaft.
  20. Secure the spindle to the shaft.
  21. Attach the 4ea. '6ft' handle extensions to the handle spindle, and secure with bolts.
  22. Install the 4 ea. supporting truss bars between the 6ft handle extensions, and secure with bolts.
  23. Attach the 4 ea. '9ft' handle extensions to the ends of the 6ft extensions, and secure with bolts.
  24. Install the 4 ea. supporting truss bars between the 9ft handle extensions, and secure with bolts.
  25. Ensure that back pressure gate valve is fully open.
  26. Ensure that all ball valves on the control panel are set for 'normal operation'.
  27. Start turning handle slowly, to prime the unit and bleed the air from inside the system.
  28. Monitor the suction hose at the raw water intake port of the unit to check that water has been drawn up from the well and into the system.
  29. Increase the rotation of the handle to a moderate pace and slowly close the back pressure gate valve to increase the pressure behind the RO membranes.
  30. Monitor the pressure gauges on the control panel to see the operational pressure increasing throughout the system.
  31. Keep turning the handle at a moderate pace and slowly close the back pressure gate valve until the operational pressure is set at around 70psi.
  32. Monitor the treated water being dispensed from the outlet of the fresh water hose for 'TDS' content and flow rate.

Proceedure Item #10

Proceedure Item #14

Proceedure Item #22

Proceedure Item #23

Proceedure Item #29

Proceedure Item #32
Because the machine installed in Longech is the prototype PROtector system, both the overall performance of the machine and the behaviour of a number of specific components were closely monitored and scrutinised over several days. This was to evaluate the initial suitability of the existing design, with a view to make any immediate improvements that may be required.

The connection between the central handle spindle and the drive shaft was observed to be vulnerable to 'impact loading' whenever the handle was pushed from rest. A small amount of movement was observed at either end of the connecting bolts, where impact loading was causing the holes in the spindle to become elongated. It was decided that the connection between the spindle and shaft should be 'upgraded' to eliminate the movement and impact loading, and also to transfer the torque from the handle to the shaft more uniformly around the full interconnecting surface area. These improvements will take place during a later visit to the site.

Several members of the Longech Water Committee were trained on the correct operation and maintenance of the machine, including the adjustment of the back pressure gate valve for the optimal water production rate, and the periodic 'chemical' flushing of the RO membranes to prevent the accumulation of any scale deposits or 'bioslime' which would cause premature fouling of the membranes.

Before leaving Longech on 9th September 2010, the installation team observed the following production of treated water:
  • Flow rate 375–500 litres per hour
  • TDS – 150ppm (reduced from 2400+ ppm)
  • Fluoride – 1.3ppm (reduced from 12.0+ ppm)
Oxfam personnel will continue to monitor the usage of the machine and the characteristics of the product water.

Continue to Part 3. Six Month Progress Report

The Problem:
According to the UN, water-related diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, taking the lives of more than 6,000 people every day. Such diseases are contracted from drinking unsafe, contaminated water  in  locations where
  adequate treatment is either unpractical or unaffordable. The total number of people around the globe without sustainable access to safe drinking water currently stands
  at over 1 billion - a shocking figure which equals one sixth of the world's population. Whilst the common consensus is to dig wells and drill boreholes, the extracted water is often brackish (salty) due to having a high mineral content – and in many parts of the world, groundwater contains harmful ‘dissolved’ contaminants such as fluoride and arsenic. Furthermore, boreholes, wells and underground storage tanks are prone to contamination from surface run off, sewage and seawater- especially in the wake of a storm, flood, earthquake or other natural disaster.

PROTECTOR water purification systems are able to extract and treat water directly from boreholes, wells, streams, rivers and lakes. The systems use both ceramic and reverse osmosis (RO) filters to remove contaminants such as silt, colloidal particles, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, cysts, metals, fluoride and arsenic. This degree of filtration is also able to reduce salt from brackish water sources, to safe and palatable levels.

  Continue reading about PROtector Design...


Don't have time to find out more about the PROtector online? Grab a copy of our PDF documents and read them on the go!

PROtector Brochure

A general overview of the PROtector hand-powered water treatment system and what it is capable of.

Program Proposal

An example PROtector program proposal. This document is annotated with instructions on how to create a proposal for your PROtector program. An editable Microsoft Word version is also available.

Pilot Program Six Month Progress Report

Catch up on the latest from the PROtector pilot installation in Longech, Kenya in this exciting report.

PROtector Prgram Management White Paper

A guide aimed at helping organizations to establish a successful protector program. This white paper contains procedures for system monitoring, maintenance, reporting, troubleshooting and repair.

To download the above PDF's, right click on the file and select "save as".