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Thomas Boyce
WASH PM - Iraq
Asked a question 2 years ago

High Saline Boreholes - does anyone have any 'low-tech' solutions to treat borehole water that is of poor quality? (High salinity/TDS) etc.

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Melinda Foran
Former Director, Strategic Initiatives @ CAWST

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of 'low-tech', inexpensive solutions to treat high salinity or total dissolved solids. You could design a solar distillation technology that would remove all minerals or salts from the water.

For example:

Otherwise, you'd be looking at reverse osmosis systems, which I don't consider to be 'low-tech'.

Brian Reed
Freelance WASH trainer

A former student of mine looked at this a few years ago for his thesis. The simple answer then was "no", although some devices developed for sailors on yachts did meet some of the requirements. These use membrane technology but have very low flow rates, making them uneconomic for the amount of water they produce.

The solar still (mentioned elsewhere) is an option - it is simple but again has a low flow rate.

Depending on the climate, I'd look at extensive rainwater harvesting (roads and rocky areas rather than roofs), at least for drinking water if you wanted a suitable intermediate technology. These can be viable even in seemingly arid areas. These are likely to be more sustainable over the long term. Hope that helps!  

Ahmad Masoud
PhD Candidate/ Researcher

interesting question I would like to follow the answers also 
this problem is currently a challenge in Jordan 

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