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HWI’s safe water systems are not just community water treatment facilities but a collective effort towards safe water service. They are owned and operated by the community, contrasting household filters or treatments managed at the household level. While there are contexts where household filters may be the most appropriate and sustainable solution, centralized systems have many benefits, especially for the locations and types of water present where HWI works.  

With a centralized system, the burden of ensuring water quality is lifted from individual households. Whether the water contamination is simple or complex, a household water system places a responsibility on every household to use and maintain it. In contrast, a centralized community system, with its trained operators, ensures that regular users receive safe water without having to think about it, check if things are working properly, or source replacements. Any maintenance or replacement can often be a barrier significant enough for the household to abandon the filter and return to drinking unsafe water.  

A community-wide system allows HWI to monitor usage and have visibility when it needs technical assistance. We are currently launching remote monitoring, but even through regular communication with an operator, tracking one system that serves everyone rather than individual household filters simplifies monitoring and maintenance to ensure people are getting the water they need and that it’s reliably safe. Consumables and replacements will be required over time, many of which can be bought through local markets, and HWI can help source specialty parts and troubleshoot more complicated repairs. 

A community-wide system with trained operators, often as a full-time job, is more than just a service. It is a source of pride and accomplishment in having a tech-savvy treatment system in their community, knowing it is used in places like the US and Europe.  

These observations of the advantages of centralized systems have been introduced previously. The WASH sector has seen these for years, and now, with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), goal 6 talks about safely managed water service, which pulls the focus away from “improved sources” or treatment devices. The global water crisis is vast, urgent, and diverse, so many solutions are needed, and household filters are an essential part of that mix. But HWI’s approach to sustainable, safe water service is community-wide systems, whether it’s a small water business or a safe water network piped into homes. 

Donate today to support the unique work of Healing Waters and community-wide water systems.

We’re on a mission to end the global water crisis. We build holistic clean water solutions and spread God’s love in at-risk communities around the world, empowering people not just to survive, but to thrive – physically, socially and spiritually.

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