A pilot project of PADSA water supply system in remote areas

A pilot project of PADSA water supply system in remote areas

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

A newly developed water turbidity-clarifying method enhances a continuous physical separation process between particles and clean water without chemical coagulation to supply drinking water in remote areas.

About You
Project Street Address
Project City
Project Province/State
Project Postal/Zip Code
Project Country
Your idea
Field of Work


Year the initative began (yyyy)


YouTube Upload
Web site (url)
Positioning of your initiative on the mosaic diagram:
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Limited focus on long-term impact

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Increase accountability through design for the long-term

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic

This field has not been completed

What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

A newly developed water turbidity-clarifying method enhances a continuous physical separation process between particles and clean water without chemical coagulation to supply drinking water in remote areas.

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

Traditional drinking water treatment processes utilize chemical coagulation, sedimentation, sand filtration and disinfection to purify water in a relative large open area. But in remote or high altitude mountain areas, standardized water treatment plants seem unrealistic. Long distance water pipelines, pumping stations and supply systems become the only choice for remote residents. In Taiwan, Mother Nature’s threats such as earthquakes and typhoons frequently destroy water supply systems in the high mountain areas. The water supply system restoration may take months and even years. Without safe drinking water, residents in remote villages significantly concern about hygiene and health issues. Therefore, a reliable and dependable local water treatment facility will be beneficial and highly welcome to the people in remote areas.

Our innovation is to utilize a new patent-issued method, Particle Accelerating Deposition and Separation Apparatus (PADSA), to physically settle water turbidity particles without adding chemical coagulants. Natural water passes through a vertical geometrical shrinking device to accelerate waterborne particles in a laminar flow region. The particles settle vertically in the sedimentation zone by gravity and the downward inertia while clean water molecules diffuse horizontally and upwardly. By using PADSA, we can derive 70% of the inflow natural water as clean water, and the rest 30% as particle-concentrated effluent. The clean water will be further treated by a sand filtration bed and disinfection to serve as drinking water for residential households. Under the circumstance of no chemical coagulant used in PADSA, the natural particle-concentrated effluent can be directly used in public services, such as agricultural or garden irrigation.

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

The characteristics of PADSA include: (1) continuous particle and clean water separation; (2) no chemical coagulant needed; (3) utilization of water potential energy in an indoor environment; (4) remote control throughout the whole water treatment processes; (5) area requirement of 10m x 10m for 280 CMD drinking water. Such unique characteristics make PADSA feasible in constantly producing potable and palatable water in remote areas.

The PADSA needs only a small indoor area to accommodate the required facilities in producing qualified water. The remote control system through internet enhances PADSA return to regular function after natural environmental events in short period of time. Because the PADSA locates right around the water supply household area, routine maintenance and access makes the water supply system easy to use and operate.

How do you plan to expand your innovation?

It is possible to expand PADSA into a large scale and serve as a pretreatment process to remove excess particles in natural water. Such approach not only minimizes chemical coagulant usage but also increases the filtration efficiency. Under severe turbid water scenario caused by heavy rainfalls and soil erosion, PADSA can significantly decrease the turbid particle concentrations by 90% and prevent clogging problems in the filtration process.

Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how do you create them?

Yu-Li Technology Co. has been supported the development, design and research of PADSA. Most of basic research, analysis and prototypes of PADSA were performed at Fu-Jen Catholic University. Both organizations are the present partnerships. Because PADSA patent has just been issued by Taiwan Intellectual Property Office in February 2008 and the associated apparatus patent applications in Taiwan, China and USA are still under pending, we will focus on the field applications of PADSA, including control parameters and suitability under various waterborne particle concentrations, size distributions and water quality. In Taiwan, water resource usage and drinking water supply systems are under governmental management, we will also submit the PADSA cooperation application to the Taiwan government as our potential partnership.

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

The applications of PADSA can promote residential daily living quality in the remote areas by providing reliable quality and abundant quantity of drinking water even after Mother Nature’s events, such as earthquake and typhoons.

What are the main barriers to creating or achieving your impact?

PADSA can not treat soluble mineral and organic material in natural water. Adoption of activated carbon adsorption process may be the solution to such barrier.

How many people have you served or plan to serve?

This field has not been completed


The 10m x 10m PADSA water treatment system (280 CMD) may benefit 1000 people in the high mountain or remote areas.


A large scale of PADSA serving as the pretreatment process in regular water treatment plant can benefit the majority of population. Water quality may be also promoted because of less chemical coagulants and higher filtration efficiency.

Please list any other measures of the impact of your innovation?

The optimum goal of PADSA is to replace the chemical coagulation in traditional water treatment processes. More chemicals added into water stream may produce more chemical sludge and soluble ions in the treated water. By applying the physical accelerating deposition and separation method between particles and water molecules, it is possible to remove a certain fraction of colloids and better drinking water quality can be expected.

Is there a policy intervention element to your innovation, if so please describe?

Though PADSA is regarded as a physical water treatment setup, routine check and maintenance will be performed by the responsible organizations. However, it is still necessary to form a local community council to manage the operation, protection and possible responses in emergency.

Exactly who are the beneficiaries of your innovation?

The PADSA will directly benefit residents in remote areas and a large scale of PADSA in traditional water treatment plants may further promote water quality for the general public.

How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

Since the PADSA is designated to provide sufficient drinking water in the remote areas, the local government should be responsible for the design, construction, operation and finance. We will submit a PADSA pilot study proposal in a high mountain residential area to the Taiwan government.

Provide information on your finances and organization:

Yu-Li Technology Co. in Taiwan supports the PADSA research, patent application and pilot study proposals to the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Taiwan government. The major financial support will come from the Taiwan government.

What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Since clean water is basic requirement for the general public, the residents in remote areas and general public will be the potential demand of this innovation. The PADSA is a remote control water treatment facility. One local part-time participant is needed to routinely inspect the facility.

What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?

The PADSA may not be the case of one size fit all because of variability in water-borne particle characteristics and its size distribution. Field investigation, laboratory measurements, experienced engineers and technicians form the center of the PADSA project and also comprise the main barriers to the financial sustainability.

The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

On September 21, 1999, a Richter Magnitude Scale of 7.3 earthquake striking Central Taiwan caused over two thousand deaths and uncountable houses and property damage. On the way of back to civilization in the disaster areas, the restoration of the water supply system ranked the highest priority. However, the obstacles hindering the water supply restoration included residential households scattered in the mountain villages, construction difficulty of the water pipelines along the slippery roadsides, extremely high turbid water (over 50,000 NTU) due to soil erosion and rainfalls, etc. An easy operated local drinking water system supplying 1000 people daily life can benefit residents in most remote areas. Abundant, clean, potable and palatable water has been regarded as the most desirable expectation for the people in the Earthquake 921 region.

Being a civil engineer and a teacher in Public Health, I spent all these years in researching possible methods and apparatuses in purifying natural waters for the purpose of minimal operation and maintenance. Turbidity and colloids in natural waters appear to be the most obvious nuisances in water treatment processes. Based on particle gravitational deposition and fluid dynamic theory, I designed a particle accelerating deposition and separation apparatus (PADSA) to physically separate clean water from turbidity particles without using chemical coagulants. I have also submitted the method for patent application in the country of Taiwan, People’s Republic of China and the United States of America. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (IPO) just issued the method an invention patent in February 2008. The competition of changemakers by GWC seems to be a good opportunity to collect comments and opinions regarding PADSA. I would like to provide my specialty and knowledge in the upcoming water

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material

Dr. Shi-Ping Liu, born in Taiwan.
B.S. in Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan;
M.S. in Environmental Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL. USA
Ph.D in Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. USA.
Associate Professor in the department of Public Health, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan. (present address)