The Tulip® Siphon is a portable water purifier for daily or emergency use and is comprised of a silver enhanced ceramic candle filter (Tulip® or CrystalPur®) with a plastic casing and a siphon mechanism to initiate filtration.
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Market Suggested Retail Price
Target Users (Target Impact Group)
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
Local partners in Ethiopia, Zambia, Ecuador and Guatemala. NGOs, commercial networks, national, regional and community entrepreneurs.
Direct competitors include Living Water Treatment Systems.
Ceramic candle filters are manufactured in China using diatomaceous earth, nano silver, and activated carbon. Production locations include China, India, and Kenya.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Basic Water Needs partners with local entrepreneurs, NGOs and other organizations to establish local distribution networks.
Distributions to Date Status
Including filter models in addition to the Siphon model, roughly 500,000 Tulip units have been distributed. Correspondence with manufacturer
Dimensions: 20.5 x 14 x 9 cm Weight: 0.5 kg
Provided by user: When flow rate slows, clean filter by backwashing by closing the tap and squeezing the rubber bulb, to force water back through the filter element. If sufficient flow rate is not restored, scrub filter with included scrub pad. Users should check filter diameter using the tool provided, and when diameter is less than indicated on the tool, the ceramic filter should be replaced. A washable pre-filter can be used when filtering turbid water to reduce clogging.
Replacement components are available through local agents or distributors.
7,000 liters or until diameter less than indicated.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
Performance targets: Capable of removing 99.995% bacteria, >99.995% protozoa, and 99% turbidity. Flow rate is up to 5 L/hr.
Vetted Performance Status
Laboratory testing: Removal efficiency of Silver impregnated Ceramic filters
2.5 – 6.5 ppb silver in filtered water, below US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and WHO secondary standards for silver in drinking water (0.1 mg/L).
Complementary Technical Systems
To preserve filtered water quality, use with a safe water storage container with lid and tap.
Academic Research and References
Mohamed, H., et al., Microbiological effectiveness of household water treatment technologies under field use conditions in rural Tanzania, Tropical Medicine and International Health, 2016, 21 (1), 33-40.
Luoto, J., et al., What point-of-use water treatment products do consumers use? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial among the urban poor in Bangladesh, PLoS One, 2011, 6 (10).
Barnes, et al., The Biosand Filter, Siphon Filter, and Rainwater Harvesting, 2009. [MIT Group Report]
Renzi, D., Effects of Solids Loadings and Particle Size Distribution on Siphon Ceramic Candle Filters, University of South Florida, 2011. [Thesis]
Compliance with regulations
Malawi Ministry of Health approval, Philippines DOH Certification (expired May 2015), National Laboratory test results
Laboratory and field evaluations
Selected as one of Toekomstmakers Top 100 in 2015. Other Tulip technologies include: the Tulip Table Top and Tulip Group Filter.