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For a vast majority of Indian population, the innovative water filter from Livinguard Technologies has been a blessing in disguise. Sanjeev Swamy, Chief Executive Officer, Livinguard Technologies is the creator of the innovative water filters which provides solution to water contamination problems. His creation is an answer to the people who had been complaining of impure water in their locality. The water filter is the best possible solution that works on all three organisms, bacteria, viruses and fungi, effectively and gives pure water. Also Read - Drinking Enough Water Can Keep Your Hair Healthy, Here is How
With this amazing invention, this entrepreneur has become the problem solver for many villagers who now have access to good quality water and is thankful to the creator for remarkable decrease in water-borne illnesses like diarrhoea and dysentery. Also Read - 3 Water Drinking Mistakes You Must do Away With
Here, the inventor of the innovative filter shares how he came up with his idea and how he materialized it. Following is Sanjeev Swamy exclusive interview with India.com
Q: Tell us about how the idea to make this filter came to you?
A: Originally, the anti-microbial technology was made in an attempt to prevent infections, rashes, and diseases affecting soldiers who were forced to wear the same uniform and underwear for as long as 3 weeks at a time. Once this technology was developed and tested successfully, I realized that the disinfecting properties could be successfully applied in many different spaces, water being just one of them. Since then water has become a huge priority for Livinguard. Living in India most of my life, I have seen first hand how much a good, safe, and cost effective water purification method is needed; one that can effectively purify the type of water most of the developing world has access to – muddy, smelly, and riddled with bacteria and fungi. With this goal in mind, one branch of Livinguard focuses on water purification and on perfecting the solution to one of the world’s biggest problems.
Q: How easy or difficult it is to install the filter? Can it be used without power?
A: Our systems have been designed in a way that they can be installed in the most remote locations. Many of these places don’t have electricity, roads, or government treated water. There are lakes, streams, and in some cases, wells. Not only have our filters been designed to clean this kind of water, but they have also been simplified so that even someone lacking an education can use them. There is no electricity required during the filtration process. It is completely dependent on gravity.
The smaller filters come with a concise instruction manual that includes step-by-step illustrations for assembly, use, cleaning, and maintenance. Our practice/recommendation till date has been to conduct training sessions with the users or the NGOs in charge of distributing the filters beforehand. This hands-on approach ensures complete understanding on the part of the users of the filters.
The community systems have been designed in such a way that any adjustments and replacements can be done on site. This was done with the knowledge that transporting the entire system would be too expensive, inconvenient, and in many cases, not feasible. With regards to the initial installation of the system, the entire process of getting the system running can take about 3 hours. Once this has been done, our team trains the person in charge of maintaining the system. In areas where there is electricity, our bigger systems can be cleaned weekly using a backwash pump (provided) within 30 minutes. In cases where there is no electricity whatsoever, adjusting the piping structure of the system at the time of installation can ensure easy cleaning of the systems. In this case, the pipes have manually adjustable valves that need to be rotated by hand and kept in the opposite direction for about an hour. These systems are thus tailor made for the community in question.
Q: Can it also be used to filter saline water?
A: Unfortunately the only way to filter saline water is through electricity using reverse osmosis. Such water treatment is expensive and extremely hard to do in remote areas of the world.
Q: What is the typical life cycle of the filter?
A: The hardware of the filter, i.e. the piping, nuts, bolts, screws, and skids, last approximately 7 years, while the individual Livinguard filtration candles last one year. The pre-filters that are designed to remove particulate matter must be replaced once every 4 months. Livinguard sells replaceable sets (consumables) that last one year. This means that one consumables order or package contains enough candles, strainers, and sleeves to last one entire year.
Q: Can these filters be used in cities as well? The problem of water pollution is more acute in urban areas, specially metropolis?
A: In urban areas, the biggest problem with regards to water is microbiological contamination. The Livinguard™ technology is capable the international standard for antimicrobial activity. This is the 6-4-3 log reduction of bacteria-viruses-cysts respectively. For homes in the urban area with sophisticated plumbing, we can attach a system to the existing piping.
Q: Can these filters be deployed for a large area instead of individual households?
A: Our systems range from small household systems purifying water at the rate of 3-5 liters/ hour, to the larger community system that can purify up to 2000 liters/hour. This means that a single Livinguard™ system, based on capacity chosen by the client, can cater to a wide range of audiences from an individual household to entire communities. Our systems are currently placed in temples (including Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai), schools, hospitals, homes, community centers, and local water supply points such as wells or overhead tanks.
Q: Is the product available in the open market? How can a buyer reach you if he is interested in the product?
A: Currently, our water products can only be purchased directly from our offices. If you are interested in making a purchase, you can contact us through our website: www.livinguard.com for more information. You can also email to email@example.com for information.
Q: What about after sales support?
A: Livinguard keeps updated records on all installations and servicing dates. Due to this, we are able to predict when it is time for systems to undergo maintenance or it is time to mail consumables to any location. Using this system of monitoring, we are able to contact our customers if they have not contacted us themselves. Over the past two months, we have conducted inspections on all our installations in order to service them and ensure that they are being maintained regularly and competently. We also help organize re-training programs where we remind the locals using our household systems how to clean their filters.
Q: Are you planning to make the product available pan India?
A: Yes, after all, our filtration systems have been designed to help the masses. That being said, our current experience through the installations in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Delhi has taught us the importance of educating the local users and having a reliable NGO or institute around each location that is as committed to the cause as we are. When there is effective monitoring and guidance at the local level, the systems are well maintained and invariably, Livinguard gets regular feedback and updates on each project. Having a good NGO presence in rural developments has become a practice for Livinguard. One that we would like to continue even as we expand around India.
Q: How did you manage to make such a device in Rs 1,000?
A: This low price has been a priority from the start. Recognizing the need for pure water in the rural areas has made us work and re-work our designs to ensure superior quality products at a reasonable price. As part of Livinguard Technologies’ own charity work, we offer up to 40% off on sales made as part of CSR (social responsibility) initiatives. Over the past 4 years, my team and I have put in every effort to finally reach a price range for all products that we can be proud of – 1-6 paise/liter. This figure is arrived by dividing the productivity of the water filter to the cost of the filter.