Clean Water in Laos: Anatomy of a water filter

Posted by on June 14, 2011 in Asia, charity, Education, Green, poverty


In an email from Steve Rutledge, president of Adopt a Village in Laos, on March 9, 2011, he had estimated that he would need at least 500 water filters. On May 14, when he and Mike Yap, the other half of the organization, attended my ‘To Laos with Love’ presentation, Steve informed me that that original estimate had doubled. In other words, at least 1,000 water filters will be needed for the 2011-2012 season.

Manufactured in Chamapasak province, Laos, these gravity-fed water purification filters are effective, easy to use, portable, lightweight, inexpensive, long lasting, chemical free and durable solutions to providing clean drinking water, which we in the West take for granted. Additional

The illustration above reveals the ceramic filter suspended within its plastic housing. The filter’s extremely small pores are highly effective at removing bacteria, protozoa, helminths, turbidity and other suspended solids. When properly used, up to 99.99% of bacteria is reduced.

Before each hill tribe family can receive a water filter, one member from each family must take a hygiene course to learn how to maintain the unit properly.


It is said that a journey begins with a single step. On Tuesday, July 7, 2010 my journey to Laos began when I met Mike Yap, who introduced me to the Adopt a Village project. Having always been fascinated by other cultures, I was immediately captivated by the concept. In mid-August I visited Port Hope, where Mike and Steve Rutledge, who is the other half of the driving force behind this humanitarian effort, reside. That weekend I listened to Steve talk with great enthusiasm about their work. I became more and more intrigued. On Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I visited them again. That Saturday night I had the honour of attending their presentation/fundraiser for the Adopt a Village in Laos project at the beautifully restored Capitol Theatre in downtown Port Hope, Ontario. Having never had their presentation/fundraisers captured on video before, I volunteered to record this event with my iPhone. When I returned home, I would edit it and then upload it to YouTube in hopes of raising awareness of their work to a larger audience. From that weekend I came away glowing inside with a wonderfully positive energy. Inspired, I made a commitment to myself and to Mike and Steve that I would help them with their endeavours. Since that time, I haven't disappointed. Please visit my personal blog, My Journey to Laos, at to see how I have been trying to help them raise awareness for their cause. Ultimately, I will go to Laos and experience for myself all the great work which they have done and continue to do.

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