SuMeWa|SYSTEM: Solar Driven Drinking Water Treatment for Remote Regions

The SuMeWa|SYSTEM removes impurities from water to provide safe drinking water supply in rural locations.

Winner 2019
Water & Sanitation Egypt, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Tanzania, Vietnam
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Key Facts

  • The SuMeWa|SYSTEM removes iron, arsenic, manganese, turbidity, organics and, most importantly, bacteria and virus without the need for membranes.
  • Long-term disinfection of the water is assured through electrolytic chlorine production.
  • Stations are usually powered 100% with solar energy.
  • Drinking water is dispensed via water ATMs at very marginal costs.
  • Currently, the system supplies 50,000 people worldwide with safe and healthy drinking water.
Long-term disinfection of water using the SuMeWa|SYSTEM is ensured through electrolytic chlorine production.

Key Features

SuMeWa|SYSTEM treatment technology is designed to ensure safe drinking water supply even in the most remote regions. 

Through the use of adequate treatment steps, our stations are capable of removing impurities such as iron, arsenic, manganese, turbidity, organics and, most importantly, bacteria and virus without the need for membranes. 

Long-term disinfection of the water is ensured through electrolytic chlorine production, either from the natural chloride content of the water itself or the use of table salt (NaCl). This way the station can operate independently from any external chemical and electricity supply and at the same time meets the strictest water quality requirements. Currently our biggest stations can supply up to 200 m³ of safely disinfected water per day. The stations are usually powered 100% with solar energy. 

Drinking water is dispensed via water ATMs at very marginal costs. The generated income hereby allows long term operation and maintenance of the water supply infrastructures. Usually any surplus generated is reinvested into the extension of a treatment supply network.

More about SuMeWa|SYSTEM in other publications:

http://www.tea-after-twelve.com/all-issues/issue04/issue-04/chapter-2/sun-meets-water/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0043135420309192

https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/11/1/122

Social Impact

Technical solutions to treat drinking water have always been available and, in the past years, even more solutions have entered the market. For disinfection purposes, membrane filtration and UV systems have become popular. Despite those solutions being capable of removing bacteria and to some remove viruses from the water, they do not prevent recontamination during transport and storage. Recontamination is very common in membrane and UV systems and the addition of chlorine is urgently necessary – and required by the guidelines. Simple chlorination to assure residual disinfection, however, has failed in rural developing regions, due to the lack of continuous supply of chemicals and knowledge on correct dosing. Due to the fact that chlorination is commonly neglected, that could have deadly consequences for the consumers. 

Our solution is the only one that is able to meet the disinfection requirements and residual chlorine supply. With our technology, diluted chlorine solution is produced onsite, either from the natural chloride content of the water itself or NaCl. 

Water provided by us is and stays free of pathogens and that helps to improve health conditions of consumers – even in the remotest regions.

Currently more than 50,000 people worldwide are supplied with safe and healthy drinking water through our solution. 

With each station, between 3 and 4 people are employed long term. 

Future Plans

AUTARCON strives to increase sales and now offers business models which allow investors to finance water supply projects. By that water can be offered at very marginal costs to the communities most in need. A constant flow of income hereby guarantees the long term operation and maintenance of each station and reimburses the investment costs. 

Main Target Group

Currently we are selling to NGOs, private project developers, and research facilities, which are in need of comprehensive water treatment and supply solutions.

Main User

Water supply agencies, remote villages, private entities, hotels, research stations.

Price (in USD)

The costs of the stations currently range from USD $15,000 to $300,000 depending on size and water treatment requirements. 

© AUTARCON
© AUTARCON
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© AUTARCON
© AUTARCON
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© AUTARCON
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AUTARCON GmbH
AUTARCON GmbH

AUTARCON GmbH Philipp Otter, Deputy CEO & Project Coordinator autarcon.com
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Profile last edited on: June 10, 2021