The availability of water can be considered as one of the key ingredients to the human life, yet this resource remains scarcely available to those living in the rural parts of Africa. When water does present itself, it is often impure and requires extensive treatment. Water treatment systems, particularly those capable of treating water in rural areas, are currently areas of research and entrepreneurship focus, making a number of potential solutions available, and other still coming in. Unfortunately, these systems are not always capable of performing in particular socio-cultural and economic contexts, or are often deployed in the wrong rural areas. Therefore these systems do not perform at their optimal level of design.
Rural areas in Africa have different socio-cultural and economic context from each other, and this needs to be taken into account if one is going to select the right water treatment system for a particular area. Using industrial engineering tools, two water treatment system selection models; an Additive Analytic Hierarchy Process model and a Fuzzy Logic based model, are presented and then integrated. These models take into account the context of selected rural area by pitting available water purification systems against selected criteria to determine if it is the right fit for the rural area considered. Both models are then pitted against each other to determine which is more adept at selecting the appropriate water purification system. Three water treatment alternatives were considered after an analysis was conducted on the available solutions on the market. The water treatment systems under consideration were the Biosand Filter with Zeolites (BSFZ), the Silver Impregnated Porous Pot, and A Borehole system.
Makwane, a rural village in Limpopo, South Africa was used as a case study to demonstrate the application of the selection models. The BSFZ was selected as the ideal water treatment system to be implemented in Makwane
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2016.