LifeStraw Family 1.0
A family-sized household water filtration unit.
LifeStraw® Family 1.0 is a high-volume, point-of-use water purifier for use in homes without access to clean water from municipal sources. It helps prevent often deadly waterborne diseases for families in developing countries and is effective in emergency settings following natural disasters which can contaminate water.
Lifesaver® Jerrycan 20000UF, LifeSaver Cube, VF 100 Village Bucket Filter, ACI Household Filter, LifeWell Water Filter, WateROAM ROAMfilter Plus, WateROAM ROAMfilter Lite, TATA Swach Cristella Plus Water Purifier, TATA Swach Smart, EAWAG System, AquaFilter Family, GE’s ZeeWeed ultrafiltration (UF) hollow-fiber membranes and LifeStraw Family 2.0.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Households without access to clean water from municipal sources.
Mass produced.Interview with representative
IP Protected (Patent application number 20100044321).Interview with representative
In 2011, 877,500 LifeStraw Family 1.0 water filters were distributed in Kenya to provide sustainable access to safe drinking water for 4.5 million people. Other filters have been sold or distributed through partnering NGOs and retailers, as well as purchased directly from LifeStraw.
Is this filter designed for individual, household, or community use?
Manufacturer-specified flow rate (L/hr)
Laboratory-evaluated log scale removal rate of bacteria
Does the system use microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, or reverse osmosis?
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)
Description of materials of construction
Is there safe water storage integrated into this product?
What is the total number of liters that is recommended can be filtered?
The LifeStraw Family 1.0 filter is the same as all LifeStraw filters, which achieves ultrafiltration via hollow fiber technology whereby water is forced through narrow fibers under high pressure.
When untreated water is poured into the feed water bucket, the textile prefilter removes coarse particles larger than 80µm. Gravity pushes the water with particles finer than 80µm to flow down the plastic hose towards the purification cartridge. The purification cartridge, which contains a hollow-fiber membrane of 20nm porosity, stops all particles larger than 20nm and bacteria, protozoa, and other contaminants are trapped inside the hollow fibers and are flushed out by backwashing.
Schematic which is available in an online manual.
For the pilot project in Kenya, LifeStraw Family units are monitored by trained community representatives employed by Vestergaard. LifeStraw users must be trained on the operation and maintenance of the units. Representatives conduct visits to homes to analyze and report on units that are not operating normally.Interview with representative
Customer support offices are available to help all LifeStraw filter users.
For the pilot project in Kenya, replacement systems are available if community representatives determine that the unit is faulty. All units are tracked via QR codes by representatives.Interview with representative
The LifeStraw Family 1.0 filter is designed not to need replacement components.
Guaranteed up to 18,000 Liters (4,750 Gallons). According to Vestergaard, enough to supply clean drinking water for a family of five for up to 3 years.
Manufacturer specifies the following: removes minimum 99.9999% of bacteria (>Log 6 reduction), 99.99% of viruses (>Log 4 reduction) and 99.9% of protozoan cysts (>Log 3 reduction), removes turbidity, does not require electrical power, does not require batteries, does not require replacement parts, does not require running water, does not require piped-in water supply, has an easy-to-clean pre filter, has an easy-to-clean purification cartridge, and all raw materials are US Food and Drug Administration compliant or equivalent.
A number of laboratory studies and health impact and field studies have been carried out:
A laboratory assessment of a gravity-fed ultrafiltration water treatment device designed for household use in low-income settings was funded by Vestergaard Fransen, and ran by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and University of Arizona. It is the independent laboratory that tested and produced these results via EPA Protocol and Guide Standard for Testing Microbiological Water Purifiers. It is part of LifeStraw Family Evidence Dossier (available by request)
LifeStraw® Family Quality Inspection is completed by Intertek in Vietnam.
“Assessment of the LifeStraw Family Unit using the World Health Organization Guidelines for “Evaluating Household Water Treatment Options: Health-based Targets and Performance Specifications”, 2011. by the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science. Authors: Jaime Naranjo, B. S. and Charles P. Gerba, Ph.D.
Rotavirus Reduction by LifeStraw Family 1.0 Filters, 2013 by the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science. Authors: Jaime Naranjo, B. S. and Charles P. Gerba, Ph.D.
Confirmation of 20 nanometer pore size by Para Membranes Co. Ltd, Korea
Tests have been performed by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Arizona, Intertek Vietnam, Para Membranes, Vestergaard Certification, and Assorted Lab Assessments in-country: Pro-Lab (Brazil), Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia), Ministry of Water Resources Lab (Ethiopia), Water Research Institute (Ghana), Delhi Test House (India), Water Aid Lab(Madagascar), Qualibet (Philippines), Rwanda Bureau of Standards (Rwanda), Umgeni WaterAmanzi (South Africa).Interview with representative
Contamination of filtered water is possible with exposed/improper handling and storage.
A container is needed to collect the filtered water.
Perron, S., 2012, “Microbial Regrowth in Drinking Water Treated with Gravity-Driven Ultrafiltration A Field Study in Kenya,” M.S. thesis, Department of Earth Sciences, Air, Water and Landscape Science, Uppsala University Villavägen.
Clasen, T., Naranjo, J., Frauchiger, D., Gerba, C., 2009, “Laboratory assessment of a gravity-fed ultrafiltration water treatment device designed for household use in low-income settings,” Am J Trop Med Hyg, 80(5), pp. 819-23.
Pérez-Vidal, A., Díaz-Gómez, J., Salamanca-Rojas, K. L., y Rojas Torres, L. Y., 2016, “Evaluation of drinking-water treatment by Lifestraw® and Ceramic-pot filters,” Revista de Salud Pública, 18(2), pp. 275–289.
Elsanousi, S., Abdelrahman, S., Elshiekh, I., Elhadi, M., Mohamadani, A., Habour, A., ElAmin, S., ElNoury, A., Ahmed, E., and Hunter, P. R., 2009, “A study of the use and impacts of LifeStraw™ in a settlement camp in southern Gezira, Sudan,” Journal of Water and Health, 7(3), pp. 478–483.
Redfield, P., 2015, “Fluid technologies: The Bush Pump, the LifeStraw® and microworlds of humanitarian design,” Social Studies of Science, 46(2), pp. 159–183.
Complies with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1987 Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Water Purifiers , US Food and Drug Administration, and meets the criteria of the “Highly Protective” category for microbiological performance specifications as defined in WHO’s 2011 ‘”Evaluating Household Water Treatment Options: Health-based targets and microbiological performance options.”
The product has been evaluated for microbiological and turbidity removal, proper function, and membrane pore size by third-party laboratories. Health impact and field studies have also been performed.
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