Chicago Businessman Marks World Plumbing Day-March 11- by Championing Clean Water in Africa

Safe Water TeamGURNEE, Ill., March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Life depends on water. Health depends on safe, clean water. In most places on the planet, this basic building block for life is taken for granted – open the tap and there it is. However, in 2013, many countries still lack ready access to safe, clean water.

Chicagoan Don Arnold, a 50-year veteran of the U.S. plumbing industry, is striving to change that unhappy reality for families in East Africa. Utilizing “slow-sand filtration,” a basic technology more than 200 years old, Arnold is working with Safe Water Team-Kenya (SWT-K), a subsidiary of the Michigan nonprofit Safe Water Team, Inc., to introduce BioSand water filtration units in villages throughout that country. SWT-K recently shipped 2,250 of these filters to its new distribution center that opened last year in western Kenya.

Arnold’s professional journey – from developing modern plumbing technologies for Western manufacturers to meeting the basic water needs of the poor in Africa – began during this first visit to Kenya and Uganda in 2008. “I was struck by the appalling kinds of water most people are forced to use there,” recalls Arnold.

Motivated to find a practical water-filtration solution that required minimal upkeep, Arnold landed on the BioSand filter, a point-of-use iteration of a technology that has been around since the 1800s. He subsequently joined forces with the Triple Quest division of Cascade Engineering, the supplier and licensee of a BioSand filtration unit that is marketed under the Hydraid brand name. About the size of a tall waste basket, the simple system can filter as many as 75 gallons of potable water a day.

“Using just common sand and gravel as the filtering media, a naturally-forming biological layer typically destroys more than 90% of the bacteria and viruses in the water, as well as all the parasites. In simple terms, ‘the good guys eat the bad guys,'” explains Arnold.

Read more, including a longer version of this article and hi-res images, at:

The Safe Water Team is a Michigan 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to connecting organizations concerned with the growing dangers surrounding safe drinking water and sanitation issues around the world with communities in need. For more information, visit

SOURCE Safe Water Team-Kenya

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