Bank On Rain (BOR) installed a water system at a school in Sierra Leone (300 students) and determined that no existing water tap met the required criteria: cost effective, simple to use/repair, self cleaning (hygienic) and self closing (water saving).
Bank On Rain (BOP) is a non-profit organization focused on promoting of rainwater harvesting as a clean water source and an inexpensive alternative to wells in many developing nations. During design and installation of demonstration systems in Sierra Leone, BOR members were unable to source an inexpensive, self cleaning, self closing and easy to maintain water tap. We determined that existing water taps are neither appropriate for, nor self-sustaining in developing countries. In order to address cultural differences, taps must be self-closing (saving water) and self-cleaning (hygenic). They must be simple to manufacture, cost effective to supply, easy to install and simple to repair. Conventional water taps are expensive, have multiple moving parts, require that each user touch the value to close (spread disease), the valve itself is easily broken and enables waste or theft of water (or the taps themselves). Following up on the Sierra Leone school system 5 months after installation, we found 5 of the 10 taps required replacement/repair, rendering part of the system inoperative after a relatively short time.
LocationSeattle, Washington, United States
Primary Focus: Sanitation - Schools
Secondary Focus: Capacity Building
People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 10,000
A major weak link in supplying clean water at hand washing stations in schools throughout the developing world is the water tap. It is one of the more expensive plumbing items in a system, a major point of contamination as each student must touch the tap once after using the latrine and again after hand washing, wastes water during the turn-on/turn- off process and has many components to maintain & repair. Addressing these issues with an improved water tap can benefit many, world wide.
School Children Getting Water: 10,000
Hand washing stations in schools provide a significant benifit in sanitation, but the re-contamination of cleanly washed hands while turning off the tap can be a path to transmit water-borne illness. A self cleaning tap could eliminate this pathway. A self closing tap can save water, a particular benefit in reagions where clean water is in short supply.
People Getting Sanitation: 10,000
Once a manufactured prototype of the FullStop tap has been produced, units will be distributed via non-profit organizations working in the water sector for installation in schools and community centers. With feedback from field installations, design modifications may be required, then injection molds based upon the final design can be produced an provided to manufacturers in developing nations for production and sale.
People Getting Other Benefits: 100
Local manufacture and sale of the FullStop taps can provide financial benefit to the manufacturer and sales distribution workers selling the taps at low cost (because molds and dyes are provided at no or very low cost to them) and the resulting inexpensive tap will be more affordable at the project level, initially in schools and community systems, but eventually in individual homes. With a target price of US$2 each, theft of these water taps may be less of a problem than with units selling at five times this price.
Start Date: 2012-10-22
Completion Date: 2014-11-25
In response to the observed need, BOR has designed and built a working prototype of the FullStop(TM) water tap for potable systems in developing countries with the following attributes:
1. Hygienic - user hands have no dry contract with mechanism
2. Self-cleaning - water runing thru/over unit provides continuous rinsing
3. Water Saving - self-closing design prevents waste when not in use
4. Sustainable - simple design, one moving part, rugged and easy to repair
5. Low Cost - injection molded plastic parts, standard thread size
6. Goat-proof - design minimizes potential damage by unintended users and vandals.
7. For Gravity-Fed, Low Pressure Systems - unlike First World taps ment for use with pressurized inflow, FullStop is designed to operate with low hydrostatic head gravity systems such as RWH storage tanks,
A flexible plunger opens the valve when slight upward pressue is applied by hands (when washing) or water bottle (when filling) and seals when pressure is removed. The plunger remains in the water stream when in use and is continuosly rinsed with clean water. All parts are injection molded and the plunger can be made with small amounts of powdered silver in the plastic mix, proven to inhibit bacterial growth.
The FullStop(TM) water taps will be manufactured by the injection molding process from a food-grade material, i.e. polyethylene plastic or an alternative recyclable material, UV inhibitors can be added to the molding compound to reduce degradation due to sunlight exposure, and Ag or other non-toxic bacterial inhibitor can be added to aid hygiene. The elegant design and injection molding process will enable the molded taps to be produced far below the cost of conventional taps, with a goal = final cost USD 2/unit.
Multiple Phases over a 3 year period
BOR is a member of the Peer Water Exchange (PWX) and we envision some of the other 91 member non-profit organizations to participate in the refinement of the FullStop(TM) taps by utilizing them in their water projects. BOR is responsible for the design, prototype funding, manufacture, marketing and distribution. PWX members will be pivotal in monitoring on-site tests of initial run units, as well as distribution. PWX members will be depended upon to assist with identifying distribution partners in developing countries; both local NGO's and government agencies. PWX has a peer review mechanism which has proven an effictive way for ideas to get into the field and provides business intelligence tools to keep track of projects and their operating status. PWX is a central point of connection between organizations conducting field programs throughout the developing world and is therefore an ideal vehicle to spread ideas and concepts to regions where the need is great.
No direct Government interaction is anticipated in this project. In the latter phases there may be some involvement in the licensing of manufacturers when they are provided with the tooling to injection mold the final version of the FullStop(TM) tap.
The FullStop(TM) water tap may provide local opportunities for development by individuals or small businesses to distribute and sell units as part of rainwater harvesting systems in conjunction with micro-loan programs, school-led traning programs to design and install systems and the like.
The FullStop(TM) initiative encourages local entrepreneurship. The team, the partners, the product, the scope of the process (particualrly in focusing the eventual manufacturing proscess in developing countries) all make the BOR initiative highly entrepreneurial. BOR will distribute tooling at cost to many of the water-focused non-profits who are members of PWX. The tooling will be distributed at cost to the local manufacturers who can then sell the FullStop(TM) tap at affordable pricies to individuals and/or entrepreneurs. BOR and PWX and their on-the-ground agents will assit with creating water system installation businesses (rain catchment or production), creating opportunities and jobs where few have existed.
Safe water for drinking and sanitation are clearly desperately sought commodities. Any component in the chain-of-events to implement this supply, such as a tap that both saves water and saves lives; is cheap to manufacture with few moving parts; is easy to repair and replace will quickly become an important part of water systems, particularly in the developing regions. BOR research (feedback via PWX) and on-the-ground experience in Sierra Leone shows that a weak link in any water system is often the tap, which is usually designed and manufactured for First World use. A vastly lower manufacturing cost of taps enables huge saving on system installations -- the high cost (target for theft) and low durability of imported taps often being a significant barrier to entry as well as long term success.
Water collection/distribution systems can be much more affordable using locally manufactured products, dispensing with acquisition/brokering/transportation costs, even using recycled (locally sourced) materials.
BOR planning, production and on-site installations, on-site training and consistant follow-up procedures will equate to long-term sustainability. Prototyping and on-site testing of the FullStop(TM) tap and identifying reliable local manufacturing are components of our sustainability plan to be implemented in partnership with PWX member organizations.
Maintenance Cost: $400
In the short term (years 1 and 2) the feed-back from BOR installations and those of other PWX members will measure the performance and improvement of the FullStop(TM) taps and provide the redesign effort.
The BOR long-term vision is to successfully implement worldwide use of the FullStop(TM) water tap, thus saving water and lives, Our mission is for entrepreneurial businesses both large (manufacturing) and small (micro, village) related to FullStop(TM) to be profitable and sustainable in Africa and elsewhere globally. Licensing fees paid by "for profit" corporations will help sustain and expand future PWX and BOR initiatives
1. Fund tooling & produce 200 units ($10,850)
2. Testing & evaluation ($2,300)
3. Retooling & produce 500 units, distribute via PWX ($11,600)
4. Produce 1000 units, distribute via PWX ($1,600)
5. Tooling for 4 entrepreneurial manufacturing companies in developing regions, testing QA/QC ($120,900)
6. Produce 5000 units at 4 local firms (in #4) to establish market, distribute to local non-profit organizations ($7,750)
Co Funding Amount: $8,000
Bank On Rain -- design and prototyping, construction of a working model
Community Contribution Amount: $2,000
Establish a training program and assist in monitoring