UZ-1 Household Water Filter
The UZ-1 is a hollow fiber membrane household water filtration unit.
The UZ-1 Water Filter is a hollow fiber membrane water filter, designed, manufactured, and distributed by Uzima in the USA. Each filter contains bundles of hollow fibers designed to allow only water molecules to pass through the filter, filtering out anything larger than 0.1 microns (bacteria, cysts, protozoa). UZ-1 filters are sold as boxsets. Each box contains 10 UZ-1 filters, 10 bucket connectors, 11 water taps, and 11 educational materials.
This product is currently distributed in Kenya, and in 2018, the manufacturer expressed a desire to expand into other regions of Africa. The product has also been implemented in Honduras by HOI, an NGO.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Target users include individuals in remote or rural areas. Target buyers include humanitarian organizations and governments.
The UZ-1 is mass-manufactured in the USA by Uzima.
The product is largely marketed for purchase and distribution by humanitarian organizations. Alternatively, users can obtain the product directly from Uzima.
As of 2019, approximately 4,000 units have been distributed.
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 gravity-fed membrane micro-filtration product is assembled by the purchaser. The filter consists of hollow fiber membrane technology, with a pore size of 0.1 microns.
Standard installation requires acquiring two 20 L buckets, one of which must have a lid (upper bucket). Holes must be drilled in the buckets in accordance with the instructions provided by the manufacturer. The final product consists of two 20 L buckets stacked on top of each other. The top bucket is filled with raw water. This bucket has the filter cartridge screwed into the bottom of it. Water flows from the top bucket, through the filter cartridge by gravity into the bottom bucket. Water enters the filter surrounding the membrane, clean water molecules are able to pass through pores to the bottom bucket, whilst biological contaminants are unable to pass.
Expected lifespan of 10 years
The filter is designed to have an effective reduction of bacteria by 6 log (coliforms).
Field studies of independent academic research have found that the UZ-1 filter achieved 93.8% of effective bacterial filtration.
Incorrect maintenance of the system could result in the ingestion of contaminated water causing illness.
Safe water storage containers
Fagerli G., et al, 2018, Evaluation of use, acceptability and effectiveness of household water filter systems in Honduras 2016-2017 Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development
World Health Organisation, 2019, Results of Round II of the WHO International Scheme to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technologies. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) goals for microbiological reduction were used to assess the UZ-1 filter, by BCA Laboratories. The study found that the filters were able to reduce bacteria levels by 6 log (coliform).
Compliance with WHO performance metrics for the reduction of bacteria and protozoa.
Effective removal of coliforms, in compliance with WHO safe water drinking guidelines, is cited as an evaluation criterion by the manufacturers.
Uzima is partnered with the Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST). The product is featured on the CAWST site in Products & Technologies.
The product is purchased as a set of 10. Each set contains 10 UZ-1 filters, 10 bucket connectors, 11 water taps, 11 filter cleaners, and 11 educational brochures. Buckets are sold separately.
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