Around the world and especially in developing countries of Asia and Africa, a large population still directly use the water from natural sources viz. well, ponds, lakes and rivers. Generally the water from such sources are turbid. It contains micro-organisms, mud, dust and several other contamination. This contaminated water causes many water-borne diseases. People at such places are not in situation to use costly water purification process. At such places Moringa trees can be a great help. Moringa seeds can be used for purifying turbid or muddy water for drinking purpose. The whole process is simple to do and is a very cost effective. This process can be utilised at places where mature Moringa seeds are available abundantly as the only requirement is Moringa seeds.
Moringa seeds are natural coagulant, natural absorbents and antimicrobial. They have scientifically confirmed water purification abilities. They reduce hardness of water in dose dependent manner. The presence of 1% active polyelectrolytes in seeds is responsible for neutralizing the negative charged colloid in the dirty water and causing sedimentation of mineral particles and organics. Due to its antimicrobial action it acts against several bacteria. The seeds also contain number of benzyl isothiocyanate and benzyl glucosinolate which act as antibiotic.
How to Use Moringa Seeds for Water purification
Requirements: Mature Moringa seeds
Collection of seeds: Fully mature seeds should be harvested. To assure the seeds are mature it should be observed if the pod is cracked. The collected seeds should be dried furthur for 2-3 days.
Process: For water purification, mature moringa seeds are collected from pods. The seed coat is broken using sharp knife to get kernel. The kernels are pulverised to prepare a fine powder. Amount of powder that should be added to contaminated water is dependent on the quantity of water and degree of contamination. Dirtier the water more is requirement. General recommendation is to add powder from one Maringa kernel to two liters of when water is slightly turbid, and to one liter when water is very turbid. You may add one heaping spoonful to ten litre water.
First one cup clean water is taken in a bottle and one spoonful of kernel powder is added in it. The bottle is shaked well and this water is filtered using a muslin cloth or fine mesh screen (to remove insoluble materials). Dirty water is taken in a bucket and the filtered water from bottle is added to it. Again the water in bucket is stirred well for five-ten minutes. This water is allowed to sit for two hours. The impurities settle down and purified water is poured slowly in clean vessel. This water should be filtered through clean cloth and can be boiled to make it completely safe.
Benefits: The main benefit of this process is that it is completely natural and does not require any chemical. This purification reduces the total hardness, turbidity, acidity, alkalinity and chloride level in standard limit. This is a very cost effective method that can be afforded by rural population.