A ceramic pot filter made in Guatemala for rural family water treatment.
The market price for an Ecofiltro depends on container material. Enamelware: 77.88 USD (599 GTQ); Mini Enamelware: 51.87 USD (399 GTQ); Ceramic: 156.01 USD (1200 GTQ); Clay: 84.51 USD (650 GTQ); Pachon stainless steel: 12.87 USD (99 GTQ); Virgin plastic: 39.00 – 45.50 USD (300-350 GTQ); Filter unit: 26 USD (200 GTQ). All prices converted June 7 , 2019.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Initial target users were Guatemalan families in rural areas. Today the company has expanded to international markets.
Ecofiltros are designed and manufactured from locally sourced materials in Guatemala in the Ecofiltro factory located in Aldea San Lorenzo El Cubo Ciudad Vieja, Sacatepéquez. The new facility, built in 2012, has the capacity of producing 20,000 filters per month.
EcoFiltro brand is Trademarked in México and Central America. The technology developed by Fernando Masanegros that EcoFiltros are based on, however, is open source. Interview with representative.
Ecofiltros are available in Guatemala at Ecofiltro and through a network of local distributors in rural and urban areas. They can be purchased at CEMACO, Walmart, Maxi Despensa, EPA, Novex, Oakland Mall, Miraflores, eskala, Pradera Concepción, Naranjo Mall, or ordered online to other near-by countries.
Description of the type of ceramic filter (pot, candle, or disk)
What primary material is used (ceramic, mud, clay etc.)?
Additional materials added to improve disinfection
Manufacturer-specified flow rate (L/hr)
Laboratory-evaluated log scale removal rate of bacteria
Laboratory-evaluated log scale removal rate of viruses
Laboratory-evaluated log scale removal rate of protozoa
Reduction levels of heavy metals and/or arsenic through this treatment system
Manufacturer-specified maximum level of inlet turbidity (NTU)
Range or value of outlet turbidity levels (NTU)
How often/when should maintenance be performed?
What is the total number of liters that is recommended can be filtered?
Is there safe water storage integrated into this product?
Ecofiltros are composed of a ceramic filtering unit (made of clay, saw dust and colloidal silver) that hangs inside a container equipped with a top and a spigot for the filtered water. In the filtering unit the fired clay produces microscopic pores that trap turbidity and bacteria. The saw dust converts to activated carbon which helps eliminate color, smell and bad taste. The colloidal silver eliminates remaining bacteria.
The outside container can be made of different materials (enamelware, ceramic, clay, plastic or stainless steel) and comes in different colors/designs. Most filters have a capacity of 20 L to serve a family of 5-6 people, with a flow rate of 1-2 L/hour. Smaller versions carry 6 L and serve 1-2 cups of water/hour or 500mL. For optimal performance, Ecofiltros should be filled with water and kept to the top.
Rural and urban distributers are trained by Ecofiltro to be filter advisers and provide post-sales service. For technical support users should contact their direct distributer. Interview with representative
The filtering unit must be replaced every two years. It can be bought separately from Ecofiltros.
The ceramic filter unit should be replaced every two years. A sticker is included in each box for the user to document the installation date + 2 years for anticipated replacement. The used filter unit can then be used as a flower pot after its two years of use. Interview with representative
Filters that have been in use from 0 to 24 months have been tested by 2 different local labs with international certification, Soluciones Analíticas and Contro-Lab for bacteria reduction, and by Ambitek Services for removal of tubidity, disolved solids, and residual chlorine. Interview with representative
This product cannot be used to filter sea water, water that has been chlorinated, or water with too much sediment as the pores will get clogged. Muddy water should be left for to disaggregate before pouring into the filter. Alternatively, water with heavy sediment must be filtered through a cloth before entering the filter.
No complementary technical systems are required. If desired, wooden bases can be purchased locally.
Roegner, A., Ochaeta, G., Bocel, E. et al., 2017, Employing CBPR to investigate function, utility, and longevity of household filters to improve potable water quality for indigenous peoples at Lake Atitlán, Guatemala: a pilot study with San Pedro de La Laguna, Energy, Ecology and Environment 2(2), pp. 95-113.
Figueredo, A. and Chowdhury, R., 2019, Conceptualization of community-based entrepreneurship: a case study of Ecofiltro in Guatemala, European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology in Practice, 2 (11), pp. 77-101.
Salvinelli, C., Elmore, A. C., García-Hernandez B. R. and Drake, K. D., 2017, Ceramic pot filters lifetime study in coastal Guatemala, Journal of Water and Health, 15.1, pp. 145-154.
Ecofilters are in compliance with COGUANOR Guatemalan regulation and meet regulations in other countries where they are distributed in order to be authorized to be sold in the market. Interview with representative
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