SDG Spotlight Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Our United Nations Sustainable Goal of the week is #6: Clean Water and Sanitation. This goal focuses on ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. This relates to providing safe and affordable drinking water, improving water quality, protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems and supporting local engagement in water and sanitation management.

At Tui’k Ruch’ Lew (TRL) we offer a program of water filter distribution, using the Utz Ja Water Filters, made of food-grade plastic and equipped with a British Berkefeld Super Sterasyl filter element. This specific brand was selected because it reduces up to 99.99% of particulates, cysts, parasites and pathogenic bacteria including E. Coli, Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Salmonella Typhi. The Berkefeld filter we install is able to remove arsenic from water and of course, chlorine. Our choice of water filter combines an accessible price with high quality filter technology.

Lake Atitlan still serves as the primary source of drinking water for more than 70,000 inhabitants from at least five municipalities in Solola. Between 90–100% of the population from San Lucas Atitlan, Santiago Atitlan, and San Pedro consume water from the lake. Due to high levels of fecal contamination, cyanobacteria and persistent organic pollutants in the lake increasing yearly, water from Lake Atitlan is no longer safe to drink. The toxic strains of the bacteria detected in the water can affect the liver, kidneys, central nervous system and skin of both humans and animals, and it has been linked to degenerative brain diseases.

Since water from Lake Atitlán is no longer fit for consumption, chlorine is now added through municipal water systems. The level of chlorine varies from day to day and at times is so strong that people refuse to drink the water. People with means purchase bottled water, but when 5 gallon bottles of commercial filtered water are not available, people resort to drinking from plastic bags or small bottles which litter the landscape.

Our solution also helps eliminate plastic bag and bottle refuse from purchases of treated water. We are proud to be serving the community of Santiago Atitlan, as we strive to provide more safe and sustainable water filtration options to residents.

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