Water Refilling Station: an alternative source of drinking water supply in the Philippines by B. B. Magtibay
The demand at the water refilling stations – water stores that sell purified water – is now increasing. The quality of purified water conforms with the national standards for drinking water and is even better than the quality of water produced by traditional water supply systems in terms of removed impurities.
Over the years, as the demand for cleaner water becomes higher, the price of household water purifiers and bottled water has become prohibitive. Water refilling stations managed by private entrepreneurs offer a cheaper and more convenient solution to the public’s drinking ...view middle of the document...
Nowadays, because of convenience on the part of the consumers, purified water in 5-gallon (22.7 litres) containers are delivered by the station directly to the people’s home. Aqua Sure, a water refilling station in Metro Manila, can deliver 5,500 gallons (25,000 litres) a day to its 8,000 household clients.
Features of a water refilling station
Structurally, water refilling station can be operated with a minimum area of at least 20-25 square metres. It comprises the following sections: refilling and selling room, enclosed water purification room, container washing and sanitizing room, storage room for empty and refilled containers, source water storage facility, toilet and an office. To operate the water store, about five employees are needed.
* 1 – Manager – Overseas store operations at least 4 hours a day
* 1 – Accountant/Bookkeepper – Makes financial statement of business operations
* 1 – Administrative assistant – Logs and handles cash sales and purchases
* 1 – Front Liner – Accepts and refills containers of customers
* 1 – Technical Asst. – Maintains and runs the machine
* 1 – Driver/Delivery Man – Transport refilled containers to customer’s home
The main processes in a water refilling station is dictated by raw water quality. The typical steps are filtration (several stages), softening, and disinfection. The machines that could be installed for such processes are the following:
* Multi-media sediment filter – removes sediments such as rust, sand and particles that are invisible to the naked eye; employs a total of 5 filters.
* Ion exchanger – replaces hard minerals with soft minerals.
* Activated carbon filter – removes all organic chemicals, herbicide, pesticide, offensive odor and bad taste.
* Reverse osmosis membrane – the heart of the system and the most expensive unit; removes inorganic minerals, bacteria and viruses while retaining its oxygen content. Since the filter size is very small at less than 0.05 micrometre, the product water could have a total dissolved solids (TDS) of less than 10 ppm. The filtration process rejects about 50 percent of raw water volume.
* Post-carbon filter – improves the taste of water.
* Ultraviolet lamp – ensures that the water is free from disease-causing micro-organisms.
* Ozone generator – inhibits the growth of bacteria in the product tank and prolongs the shelf life of water.
The efficiency of water purification system in removing impurities is high. The 10 water quality parameters measured by Magtibay (2001) showed an average of 80 percent efficiency.
Institutions and policies
The agencies directly involved in the establishment operation of water refilling stations are as follows:
* The Department of Health (DOH). DOH is the main agency responsible for protecting the health of the people. The Sanitation Code of...