Turning surface water in Thailand into clean drinking water

Insufficient access to clean water in rural areas is a major problem in Thailand. Over the coming decade, the Thailand government will thus develop sustainable solutions aimed at supplying residents with clean drinking water using, among other things, reliable technology and renewable energy. As part of these efforts, the King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) tests Grundfos’ newly developed, fully automated AQpure water treatment system in a project, funded and supported by the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency of Thailand.

The requirements for the system include that it must be capable of producing 20,000 litres of drinking water per day, and it may only use half the amount of energy as other water treatment systems with the same capacity. The system must be fully automated and capable of adapting working functions upon changing of water quality.

Sustainable in a broad sense

AQpure meets all the requirements, and the solution contributes to water supply sustainability in Thailand in many different ways.

"Our water treatment system is socially sustainable as it improves people's quality of life by providing them with clean drinking water. Secondly, it's environmentally sustainable due to its low energy consumption, and because it's hybrid powered. Thirdly, it's economically sustainable as the price per 1,000 litres of water is only one US dollar, and because the system's payback time is less than two years," says Pumipat Boonchuay, Business Development Manager at Grundfos Lifelink, and continues:

"Last, but not least, remote monitoring via Grundfos Remote Management and the partnership with our professional service provider make the water supply reliable."

The testing will be conducted in 15 villages in the provinces Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat in southern Thailand, close to the Malaysian border. Here the AQpure systems will produce clean drinking water from a river, a water fall or a bore well to meet the needs of around 50,000 residents.

Considerable potential

According to Peter Todbjerg Hansen, Managing Director at Grundfos Lifelink, cooperating with the university in Thailand offers considerable potential.

"KMITL is a technology institute leader in Thailand and enjoys wide recognition. The university's advice on how the project can be extended to ensure that even more people in Thailand have access to clean water, produced by Grundfos Lifelink water solutions, will therefore carry significant weight in the eyes of the government department following the testing in the 15 villages," says Peter Todbjerg Hansen.

Solar-powered and smart

At the COP21 in Paris, Grundfos Lifelink’s intelligent water solutions came under the spotlight. The UN highlighted them among 16 prime examples of how to combat climate change and awarded a Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity Award in the ICT-category (Information and Communication Technologies).

AQpure from Grundfos Lifelink consists of modules which can be combined to ensure that the water treatment unit matches the local needs for purifying the water from bad odour particles, bacteria and viruses. Simple installation, solar energy exploitation, long service life and minimal maintenance requirements make the system particularly suited to supplying clean drinking water in remote areas, but it can also be used in waterworks, manufacturing companies, industrial buildings and housing complexes, for example.

AQpure can run completely or partially on solar energy and be combined with Grundfos Lifelink's sustainable and intelligent water dispenser, AQtap, which provides funding for maintenance of the system through payment of user fees for water.