The PureMadi Filter | South Africa

While there are numerous devices designed to help those in the developing world have access to cleaner water. However not many can boast the ability to also boost local economies.

PureMadi Water FilterThe University of Virginia’s PureMadi filter is made mostly out of local clay, sawdust and water and can be easily made by workers in the communities that use them.

The filter is produced by mixing the three materials and pressing the mix into a mold. When fired in a kiln, the sawdust is burned off leaving miniscule pores to allow water to seep through, but not the impurities often found in natural water sources. A coating containing silver or copper nanoparticles is then applied to disinfect the water that passes through the device, removing disease-causing pathogens.

The PureMadi filter is bowl shaped, enabling users to place it on top of another bucket to collect the water. The project has also produced the MadiDrop, a smaller tablet-shaped version of the filter that can help clean untreated water. In addition, the University of Virginia has already established a factory in the Limpopo province of South Africa that is operated by local workers, with aims to create around ten similar ventures in and around the country. The video below explains the project in more detail:

Considering that a fair number of products intended to help those in developing countries come from innovators from outside the community, PureMadi aims to also boost the local economy by providing work and income opportunities to the citizens who use the devices. How else can non-profits look to lay the foundations for local enterprises in poorer countries?

Drinking Waters ZA sells a wide range of water filters for the Southern African market through our website –, and in the water filters section Drinking Waters website.


Robert Laughton

Rob Laughton is the founder of Drinking Waters UK which is the UK's only supplier of complete Drinking Water Systems such as water coolers, water fountains, remote chillers and water filters. He is also the founder of Drinking Waters South Africa

2 Responses to The PureMadi Filter | South Africa


    Dear friends in development.
    Great to hear of all your efforts improving peoples living conditions. Appropriate Technology Energy is a rural development is a registered organization for the last 18yrs working with rural poor in Uganda. The community I work with are based in cattle collider with no water people depend on rain run off [dams]sharing it with animals. Your filter technology is wonderful it can help us solving water bone disease to boost income generation.
    Therefore, I kindly seek information from you, feel free contacting me for more info.
    Best regards from
    Richard Kizito

  2. Hamed says:

    Dear Sir
    I read an article about PureMadi. It was really interesting for me.
    In my country there are a lot of rural place and city with unclear water.
    I want to inform about the process of manufacturing this filter because I want to make this filter in my city if it be possible.
    Could you guide me how can coat filters with nanoparticles?
    What is the method of coating and make nanoparticles? I studied about some method and I think that Chemical Vapor Depostion (CVP) or Electrodepostion is suitable method to coat the filters.
    I really want to help poor people in my country and I hope and sure you guide me about the appliances, tools and method for make PureMadi.
    Sincerely Yours
    Hamed Ghazi

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