deep wells

According to many experts, deep wells are a sensible method of obtaining arsenic-free water. However, the construction of deep wells as a universal measure is not an option because they are very expensive and therefore only suitable for supply at central locations. Comprehensive knowledge of the subsurface conditions is required to determine a reasonable depth of the wells. Even then there is no guarantee that the water is arsenic-free. As a rule, however, groundwater is also found at greater depths, which in our opinion is not of drinking water quality because it may contain other substances such as phosphate and manganese. It is also not yet clear whether deep wells will remain arsenic-free in the long term or whether they will also become contaminated with increasing use  .


Picture left: Dr Martin Maier at the first AGAPE deep well at the primary school in Goljani, which is still arsenic-free today.


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community filters

Community filter systems are a good way to provide access to clean water for low-income families. Such systems can be used particularly efficiently at schools, market places or railway stations. In contrast to small filter systems, such large filters can be serviced and maintained by one operator.



As an alternative to the outdated SIDKO systems, we want to equip schools with inexpensive and backwashable filters. The first prototypes have already been in successful operation since 2017 and are being continuously optimized. In the following article we show the beginnings of the projects with the installation of SIDKO filters up to the current developments with innovative technology in cooperation with universities and industry.


left: Water filter, sponsored by WatchWater,   produces arsenic free water at a school in Dadpur.


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household filters

Domestic filters have been used in Bangladesh for iron removal for a long time. This is because, unlike arsenic, iron has a bad taste and leads to discoloration of food cooked in it. It is also easy to remove with simple sand filters alone. Depending on the region, there are different types which, according to our investigations, generally remove the iron but are not suitable for the elimination of arsenic. In the following article we show the past and present projects of our non-profit activities in cooperation with universities and industry.


Picture left: A student of the TU Darmstadt inspects local water filters to remove iron from water in Ullapara (NW Bangaldesch)



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Provision of clean tap water

Our latest strategy is the provision of piped water systems. This involves connecting unpolluted deep wells belonging to AGAPE e.V. or other owners to pipelines and supplying running water to neighbouring facilities (schools, markets or hospitals). This is essential for hygiene and health.

However, groundwater that is stored in tanks and distributed via pipe networks can have a high microbial load, especially in warm climates. It is important to us that the wells and pipe networks we operate supply safe water. Therefore we have hired a technical specialist. He is trained by us and ensures that the tanks and pipes are regularly cleaned and disinfected. In the long term, his position is financed by the users of the water through a small user fee. Current projects with central water supply are Sholop, Boalia and Dadpur. Other planned projects are Purnimagati, Lahiri Mohonpure and Goaljani.


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Testing and monitoring of water quality at existing wells

The Federal Foreign Office states that 663 million people worldwide have no access to clean water (as of 2015). Many factors can endanger drinking water. In Bangladesh and West Bengal, high levels of arsenic in groundwater in particular pose a problem because the metalloid is carcinogenic and harmful to health even in the smallest quantities.


In Bangladesh many people know nothing about the water quality of their well. Therefore, AGAPE, with the support of the University of Heidelberg, initiated a first small sampling campaign in Sirajganj and Pabna in 2015. This not only tested the arsenic content of the wells, but also took into account all hazardous substances. Since then, further wells in Sirajganj, Pabna and Habiganj have been sampled in several research projects of the University of Heidelberg. AGAPE develops filter systems or provides deep wells for particularly severely affected regions.


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