Updated on December 7, 2023

·

Created on October 2, 2019

Ekofil filter

Open-source

Ekofil is a ceramic pot water filter developed in Colombia for rural areas.

Developed By
  1. Ekofil
Tested By
  • Biocenter laboratory
  • Universidad Santiago de Cali
Content Partners
Unknown

Author

Product Description

Ekofil filters are silver-enhanced ceramic filters that are designed, fabricated, and distributed by Ekofil, a Colombian-based business. The company distributes these filters throughout the rural areas of Colombia in association with foundations, NGOs, and government institutions such as the ICBF (Colombian Institute for Family Welfare).  These are designed to work by gravity to provide clean water from unreliable water sources such as rivers, wells, or doubtful aqueducts.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 1: No Poverty

Market Suggested Retail Price

$56.52

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Ekofil has worked with numerous NGOs to provide safe water around Colombia including Sahed foundation, Terre des Hommes, Suize cooperation program for development, Nestlé Colombia, UNICEF, Corona Foundation, and International Plan Foundation.

Competitive Landscape

Manufacturing/Building Method

Ekofil filters are manufactured in Ekofil's factory located in the municipality of Palmira, Colombia. These filters are made with porous clay and treated with a special bath of colloidal silver. Production capacity is over 5,000 units per month. Interview with representative

Intellectural Property Type

Open-source

User Provision Model

Users can request a filter through Ekofil's webpage or contact Ekofil directly through the listed phone number or email.

Distributions to Date Status

From 2014-2019 over 41,323 Ekofil filters have been distributed throughout Colombia serving over 262,597 people; 3,000 filters have been distributed in Piura, Peru proving safe water for 18,000 people; and 550 filters have also been distributed in Venezuela reaching 3,300 people.

Type of filter

Ceramic pot filter

Primary material of construction

Clay, plastic or ceramic container, plastic spigots

Additives

Colloidal silver

Manufacturer-specified flow rate (L/hr)

1.5 – 3.0 L

Bacteria reduction

100%

Virus reduction

Unknown

Protozoa reduction

Removes all pathogens greater than 1 micron such as Ascaris, Oxiuros, Tricocéfa, Enterobius, Trichuris, or tapeworm eggs.

Heavy metals and/or arsenic reduction

Ekofil filters have been tested to reduce 90% mercury and 93% lead.

Maximum recommended influent turbidity level (NTU)

This filter has been tested with water with > 200 NTU. Interview with representative

Effluent turbidity levels (NTU)

<2 NTU with water with > 200 NTU. Interview with representative

Maintenance schedule

The filtering unit must be cleaned every 1-2 months depending on how regularly turbid water is filtered, and done according to the manufacturer’s instructions here.  The filter should be washed with clean water and gently scrubbed on the outside with a brush.

Manufacturer-specified lifetime volume (L)

32,400 – 64,800

Safe water storage integration

10 – 30 L depending on the model

Design Specifications

Ekofil filters are composed of a ceramic filtering unit (made of clay, sawdust and colloidal silver) that hangs inside a container equipped with a top and a spigot for the filtered water. The network of microtubes produced after the burning of the sawdust provides the means to retain microorganisms and parasites higher than 0.1 microns. The filtering unit has a water filtering capacity volume of 9 liters. The container which holds the filtering unit can be made of red clay or plastic of different colors (white, blue, green). Clay containers can hold 20 liters while plastic containers can store 30 liters of filtered water. The filtering unit has a filtering rate of 1.5 – 3.0 L/hour. For optimal performance, the Ekofil filtering unit should be kept full at all times. With the Ekosocial model, filters can be connected in series with automatic water supply to be applied in community centers, temporary shelters, dining rooms, schools, and any center with continuous demand for water.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Users are expected to maintain the filter in accordance with the instructions found in the Ekofil manual. For technical support, Ekofil has a customer service line.

Replacement Components

The filtering unit can last up to 3 years as long as it is handled with care and maintenance regularly. The replaceable filtering unit and the plastic spigot can be purchased separately from Ekofil.

Lifecycle

The lifetime of Ekofil filters is around 2.5  to 3 years. After this time the filter unit must be replaced. Each Ekofil filter is marked with a unique code that allows the user to know the date of fabrication. Ekofil filters have a guarantee of 36 months (3 years). Interview with representative

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Ekofil filters are designed to be portable, easy to maintain without cultural conditioning, and do not require electricity, hydraulic connections, specialists, recharging of special substances, nor field constructions for its installation and use. They are designed to eliminate harmful microorganisms and pathogens and to significantly reduce turbidity.

Vetted Performance Status

Testing for microbial elimination performed by Biocenter laboratory found 100 % removal of fecal coliforms, total coliforms, E. coli, and mesophilic aerobic bacteria. Testing by Universidad Santiago de Cali found that this filter can reduce 90% mercury and 93% of lead in the raw water.

Safety

No known risks are related to the use of this product. No dangerous chemicals are used in its manufacturing. Interview with representative

Complementary Technical Systems

No complimentary technical systems are required. It is, however, possible to purchase additional options such as an automatic system for the control of filling, a metal structure to support the filter, or filters in series for high consumption facilities (schools, care centers, etc).

Academic Research and References

Pérez-Vidal et al. 2018, Mercury and Lead elimination in ceramic pot filters used for treating water for human consumption (Eliminación de mercurio y plomo en filtros de olla cerámica usados en el tratamiento de agua para consumo humano), Universidad Santiago de Cali, Cali, Colombia.

Bacca Jordán M. C., Giraldo Tenoria G. A., Silva Leal J. A., 2018, Evaluation of the efficiency of removal of mercury and lead in the Ekofil-plus filter used in water treatment at household level, Universidad de Santiago de Cali, Cali, Colombia.

Arias Vallejo J. E., Meneses Torres C. J., Pérez Vidal A., 2019, Evaluation of the removal efficiency of arsenic and phenols in the ekofil plus clay filter used for home level water treatment, Universidad de Santiago de Cali, Cali, Colombia.

Rivera S. P., Martínez Rivera J. I., 2019, Secondary validation of the membrane filtration method to quantify the removal of Escherichia Coli in samples of water treated with homemade filters, Universidad de Santiago de Cali, Cali, Colombia.

Monroy, V. (n.d.). PROPUESTA DE SUMINISTRO UN – ODC. Engineeringforchange.Org. available: https://www.engineeringforchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/UN-ODC-JUNIO-2019.pdf

Goal 6. (n.d.). Sdgs.Un.Org. available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6

Bienvenido a Ekofil, una línea de Replacol. (n.d.). Recintodesign.Com. available: http://www.recintodesign.com/filtroekofil.com/ekofil.html 

Contáctenos – Filtro Ekofil. (n.d.). Filtroekofil.Com. available: https://filtroekofil.com/contactenos/

Bienvenido a Ekofil, una línea de Replacol. (n.d.). Recintodesign.Com.available: http://www.recintodesign.com/filtroekofil.com/estudios.html#col

INVESTIGACION SOBRE RETENCION DE MERCURIO Y PLOMO EN FILTROS EKOFIL. (n.d.). Engineeringforchange.Org. available: https://www.engineeringforchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/RESUMEN-INVESTIGACION-USACA-CALI-SOBRE-MERCURIO-Y-PLOMO-EN-EKOFIL-1.pdf

EKOFIL: INSTRUCCIONES DE INSTALACIÓN COMPONENTES. (n.d.). Recintodesign.Com. available: http://www.recintodesign.com/filtroekofil.com/descargas/mantenimiento.pdf

Ekosocial – Ekofil Filter. (n.d.). Filtroekofil.Com. available: https://filtroekofil.com/ekosocial/ 

Welcome to Ekofil, a line from Replacol . (n.d.). Recintodesign.Com. available: http://www.recintodesign.com/filtroekofil.com/ekofil.html#ca 

. (n.d.). Recintodesign.Com. available: http://www.recintodesign.com/filtroekofil.com/control.html

Biocenter. (n.d.). Laboratoriobiocenter.Com. available: https://www.laboratoriobiocenter.com/views/contacto.html

(N.d.). Recintodesign.Com. available: http://www.recintodesign.com/filtroekofil.com/analisis/ANALISIS.pdf

www.usc.edu.co – Santiago de Cali University . (n.d.). Edu.Co. available: https://www.usc.edu.co/

Ekofil models . (n.d.). Recintodesign.Com. available: http://www.recintodesign.com/filtroekofil.com/modelos.html 

(N.d.). Oas.Org. available: https://www.oas.org/usde/environmentlaw/waterlaw/documents/Colombia-Descreto_No._1594_(1984).pdf

 

Compliance with regulations

Microbial performance is in compliance with Decree 1594 of June of 1984.

Evaluation methods

Ekofil filters are quality control-tested for pH, turbidity, water harness, and removal of microorganisms such as fecal coliforms, total coliforms, E. coli, and mesophilic aerobic bacteria.

Other Information

This filter has won various awards, including the CREA ICBF in 2014. Replacol Facebook page.

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