Ceramic Water Filter solutions is back to Biratnagar, Nepal to continue our commitment with CDO Nepal to complete our 2nd filter factory. As always, the 24 hrs. of travel from Pittsburgh to Doha to Nepal is never highly anticipated, but we got through it and arrived in Kathmandu with all of our 8 bags of luggage full of materials and equipment all in one piece!
We were able to spend a couple of days at our Godavari location before heading to Biratnagar and check in on how everything is working. First, a few spot filter tests to make sure our quality control and standards are staying consistent to our expectations. Mike was able to show Devkota (new factory employee) how to make a few key adjustments to the hydraulic press, and observed his clay making procedures. Our kilns are critical to the success to the making of proper filters and the kiln in Godavari has been a workhorse for CDO Nepal. It is currently working fine, but at some time in the future, repairs and updates will be necessary.
Filter testing is critical to CDO Nepal’s success with the clay filters in Nepal, so it is always an area of importance and education for everyone involved. Arati joined us at the factory and Mike was able to continue to advance her understanding of how to run bacteria tests and how to read and interpret the results of the testing. This is a key aspect to the success of a filter making. The city water was our test water source of and proved to have elevated levels of bacteria. After filtering this source water through our filters we were able to see that our filters were able to remove all the bacteria and continue to produce safe water for consumption.
Yesterday we boarded our flight on Buddha Air to Godavari where we met with Pradeep to begin our 3 weeks of work that will enable this facility to get up and running producing filters on a daily basis. Our goal is first to test new clays and to produce a good formula for making filters that will effectively remove bacteria and that will have a flow rate that makes them desirable to use. Secondly, we will build a new kiln that will allow CDO Nepal to keep up with the filter demands necessary for this area of the country. And lastly to visit homes where our filters are being used and to continue bacteria testing and developing a program for replacing old and damaged filters. So today, January 28th we got started working at the factory. Lots to do and because of the recent cold weather and extreme fog we spent a good bit of the day devising ways to expedite the drying process for filters and get filters ready for firing. We also made a few modifications to our test kiln that will hopefully save on fuel costs and better firings. More to come as the week progresses!