Almost two billion people around the world consume faecally-contaminated drinking water, contributing to the spread of diarrheal illnesses, which kills more than 500,000 children a year. People are overpaying their time, energy, and money to obtain safe drinking water. Folia Water has created a nanosilver-infused filter paper product that eliminates bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens in order to make water safe to drink. These filter papers are packaged similarly to coffee filters and help a family consume safe drinking water for a week per filter paper. This is the world’s first consumer goods water filter, currently being sold in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mexico, India, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia, and others. Folia Water targets the 3 billion people who make $1-10/day, with the product costing only 1¢/person/day. The filter papers fit into a regular plastic funnel or Folia Water’s Keystone Funnel™, which allows the user to leave a 2 liter bottle of unclean water to drain through a Folia Filter into any container. Currently, Folia Water is working on scaling up paper production, expanding sales, and exploring new product features.
Teri Dankovich, for her post-doctoral research at UVA in 2013, field tested an early prototype of Folia Filters in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Beginning in 2014, Dr. Dankovich and partners have field tested the filters in multiple sites such as Ghana, Honduras, Bangladesh, Kenya, China, India, Haiti, and South Africa again. These field tests showed that Folia Filters are able to purify many different types of polluted water coming from wells, streams, rivers, ponds, springs, and even gray water. After filters had been tested, the next step was to create a culturally appropriate filter holder for international markets, which would encourage consistent use of the filters. Utilizing non-profit and university partnerships, Folia Water has field tested different filter holders and collected feedback from potential users. In 2016, Folia Water achieved many milestones such as design iterations, technology scale-up, product development, and customer engagement and feedback. Folia Water now has the ability to produce about 150,000 filters/day.
Global sites including Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mexico, India, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia, and others.