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November 2, 2012

Rotarians get progress report on club’s water purification efforts in Guatemala

Athens — Water is a commodity that is as close as a turn of a faucet for most of us in the U.S., but for the rest of the world, clean water can be scarce.

Fred Segal of Carnegie, Pa. told the Athens Rotary Club Tuesday that the ProCleanse water filtration system made by his company is changing that for people in some of the world’s poorest countries.

“One child dies every 20 seconds of dysentery, because of a lack of clean water,” Segal said.

The Athens Rotary Club is participating by becoming one of the groups offering financial help to bring water filters to 200,000 in people in Guatemala.

“Your club has become part of the largest endeavor ever made in the country of Guatemala,” Segal said. “The effort is a Rotary project sanctioned by the Government of Guatemala.”

According to a ProCleanse company release, one of the units can provide clean safe water for a family of four to six for more than 10 years. The filter can produce one to two  gallons of water for an hour. Untreated water is poured into the top. It gravitates downward, purifying along the way.  The ProCleanse filters use porous ceramic particles, and bocide materials to deactivate harmful microorganisms.

The project in Guatemala is designed to help the people around Lake Atitlan.

“The filters for this particular project will go to the indigenous people of that region,” Segal said. “The water is so polluted and its a shame because it’s so beautiful and they don’t know how to clean it.”

Seagal said tests are being done to test the water of the 300 meter deep Lake Atitlan to see why it is so dangerous for human consumption.

“The Rotarian Clubs that are down there are pulling test samples out of the water and apparently it has such a residue of chemicals from the volcano,” Segal said. “The cloakroom measurement is about 600 parts per million, a standard river is about 300 parts per million, so It’s way up there.”

Segal said the Rotarians connect with the schools and make them the custodians of the filters. The students have clean water to drink there then are allowed to take a gallon home at the end of the school day.

  “On the weekends they can bring an extra container and get more water.” Segal said.


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