Updated on December 29, 2023


Created on August 27, 2015

LifeStraw Community

LifeStraw Community is a high volume capacity point of use water filtration unit.

Developed By
  1. Vestergaard
Tested By
  • Bachema Microbiological Laboratory for Environmental Testing, Schlieren, Switzerland
  • Laborotorio Fermi, Mexico City, Mexico
Content Partners


Product Description

LifeStraw Community is a high volume capacity point of use water filtration unit designed for emergency and humanitarian aid settings. The filter is effective for removing almost all viruses, bacteria, parasites, and microplastics from water.  The total capacity of the community filter is 50 liters, where 25 liters are used as a source water tank and the other 25 are used for the safe water storage tank. The lifetime of this filter is approximately 26,000 gallons (100,000 liters), enough to serve 100 people for 3 to 5 years. It is manufactured by Vestergaard Frandsen and is commercially available for purchase.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Community, Public Sector Agencies

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

This product is supplied by Vestergaard Frandsen and Adventure Gear.

Competitive Landscape

Manufacturing/Building Method


Intellectural Property Type

Select Type

User Provision Model

This product is available for online purchase on Lifestraw and other sites such as Adventure Gear and IndiaMart (India).

Distributions to Date Status

In October 2014 Vestergaard Frandsen distributed 1,646 LifeStraw Community purifiers to 301 schools, reaching over 157,975 school children in that region. By the end of 2019, the LifeStraw Give Back Program should have reached 1870 schools, 3,367,145 students with 1 year of safe water, and 12,220 filters delivered.

Target use case

Community use

Manufacturer-specified flow rate (L/hr)


Bacteria reduction

>6 log

Type of membrane filtration


Virus reduction

>5 log

Protozoa reduction

> 4 log

Heavy metals and/or arsenic reduction


Maximum recommended influent turbidity level (NTU)

300 NTU turbid water (worst case is AAP: accelerated aging procedure – 300 NTU). Interview with representative

Effluent turbidity levels (NTU)


Material of construction

Food-grade plastic

Safe water storage capacity (L)

? 25

Manufacturer-specified lifetime volume (L)

70,000 – 100,000

Design Specifications

Design specification of LifeStraw Community includes: Filtration technology: 0.02 micron membrane ultrafilter cartridge Purifier lifetime: 25,000 gallons (100,000 liters) Flow Rate:12 liters/hour Food grade materials (US FDA 21 CFR standards) Total capacity: 50 liters (13 gallons) Weight: 17lbs (8kgs) (without water) Size (assembled): 22.’’ x 22.’’ x 33.5 ‘’ Size (box): 22.4’’ x 22.4’’ x 24.4‘’ Replaceable purification cartridge All parts are recyclable The operational procedure of LifeStraw Filter: 25 liters of untreated water is poured into the top of the unit, also called the dirty water container The pre-filter removes coarse particles larger than 0.080 mm The hollow-fiber ultrafiltration membrane cartridge then stops all suspended particles and pathogens larger than 20 nanometres (including all bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts). Particles and microbes larger than 20 nanometres stay on the dirty side of the membrane and clean/purified water passes through the membrane Purified water can be collected from any of the four taps The backwashing handle allows semiautomatic backwashing; when it is pulled down and released, pathogens and dust particles on the dirty side of the membrane are lifted by backpressure and then flushed out into the red backwash container.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

There is no technical support provided and users are expected to maintain the product on their own. However, LifeStraw has available a user’s manual, a Water Resource Guide, and online videos detailing the appropriate use of this product.

Replacement Components

The ultrafiltration hollow-fiber membrane cartridge can be replaced.


The product includes a 1-year warranty and has an expected lifetime of 2-3 years with the total filtration capacity of 70,000 – 100,000 liters before replacement.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

This filter was designed to reduce 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.999 % of viruses, and 99.99% of protozoan cysts meeting the standard for the “highly protective” category of household water treatment options by the World Health Organization and US EPA guidelines.

Vetted Performance Status

Water quality testing performed by WHO determined 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.999 % of viruses, and 99.99% of protozoan cysts removal.


No known safety hazards are related to this product. However, users must be cautious by avoiding cross-contamination of the clean water container and should not consume water from the back flush area.

Complementary Technical Systems

LifeStraw Community purifiers work best with a table mount or a raised surface.

Academic Research and References

Miles, S.L et al., 2009, Point-of-use drinking water devices for assessing microbial contamination in finished water and distribution systems, Environmental science & technology, 43(5), pp.1425-1429.

Ching Kwek Pooi, C. K., and Yong, H., 2018, Review of low-cost point-of-use water treatment systems for developing communities, npj Clean Water, 1(11).

Ngoc Dao Trinh, 2018, Development of a Decentralized Drinking Water Treatment Plant Based on membrane technology for rural areas in Vietnam,  Kassel university press GmbH, pp. 45-46.

Bradley, D et al., 2018, Assessment of Water Purification Technologies in Developing Countries, 2018 Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET).

“Humanitarian response,” LifeStraw Water Filters & Purifiers. Available: https://lifestraw.com/pages/humanitarian-response

“LifeStraw Community,” LifeStraw Water Filters & Purifiers. Available: https://lifestraw.com/products/lifestraw-community.

“Lifestraw Community Water Purifier,” Adventuregears.com. Available: https://adventuregears.com/lifestraw-community-water-purifier

“LIFESTRAW Community?: Amazon.in: Sports, Fitness & Outdoors,” Amazon.in. Available: https://www.amazon.in/lifestraw-Community-Water-Purifier/dp/B01J5G92NU

“Waterbackpack PAUL,” Engineering For Change, 21-Jul-2020. Available: https://www.engineeringforchange.org/solutions/product/waterbackpack-paul/

“Grifaid Family Filter,” Engineering For Change, 22-Jul-2019. Available: https://www.engineeringforchange.org/solutions/product/grifaid-family-filter/

“PAULA Water GmbH – POTABLE AQUA UNIT – LASTING & AFFORDABLE,” Paula-water.com. Available: https://www.paula-water.com/

“Aquabox – Clean Water in a Crisis,” Aquabox, 10-May-2023. Available: https://aquabox.org/

“LifeSaver Portable Water Filters,” LifeSaver, 20-Apr-2017. Available: https://iconlifesaver.com/product/lifesaver-jerrycan/

“PWNT – Nijhuis Saur Industries (NSI),” Environmental-expert.com. Available: https://www.environmental-expert.com/companies/pwnt-nijhuis-saur-industries-nsi-40994

“SkyHydrant Water Filtration Unit,” Techxlab.org. Available: https://www.techxlab.org/solutions/skyjuice-foundation-skyhydrant-water-filtration-unit

“Goal 6,” Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6

Vestergaard, “Homepage,” Vestergaard, 03-Dec-2020. Available: https://vestergaard.com/

“IndiaMART: Page not found,” Indiamart.com. Available: https://www.indiamart.com/proddetail/lifestraw-community-water-filter-19254960762.html

“Our Give Back program,” LifeStraw Water Filters & Purifiers. Available: https://lifestraw.com/pages/our-give-back-program

Shopify.com. Available: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2631/0778/t/4/assets/LifeStrawCommunityUsermanual-1542721537595.pdf?17891197436771973143

“LifeStraw®: STEM & Service,” Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, 19-May-2020. Available: https://celfeducation.org/resources-2/sustainability-topics/lifestraw-stem-service/

“Vestergaard,” Vestergaard. Available: https://vestergaard.com/

“Contaminant removal by product,” Shopify.com. Available: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2631/0778/t/4/assets/LifestrawCommunity-EvidenceDossier-1544004763279.pdf?6021742932617323678SSIER

Zarkasih, “LifeStraw Community by Vestergaard,” 08-Apr-2018. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvwkbrI-8VA

“Crowdrise +,” GoFundMe, 18-Feb-2022. Available: https://www.gofundme.com/c/crowdrise

foreverclassno, “The Story of Life through a Straw,” Sci10 Section M, 01-Sep-2013. Available: https://science10sectionm.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/the-story-of-life-through-a-straw/

Compliance with regulations

LifeStraw Community complies with USEPA Protocol and WHO regulations and standards.

Evaluation methods

The manufacturer cites the removal of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa as evaluation criteria under the USEPA and WHO Protocol.

Other Information

Video by Vestergaard on the LifeStraw Community product.


LifeStraw products have amounted several awards over the years.


Donations are accepted through the Lifestraw Water Fund to make available this product in vulnerable communities or in emergency settings.


Readers can view the story of change about the LifeStraw company.

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