Contaminated water poses a threat to health in a lot of countries. A group of people from the local chapter Darmstadt of Ingenieure ohne Grenzen e.V. (Engineers without borders Germany) has developed a system, that can decontaminate water.

Initial situation

According to the world health organization, an approximate 800 million people all over the world have no access to clean water. In theory there are a lot of solutions to treat water, which can be selected based on the type of contamination. But we still see a lot of room for improvements, especially for safety and reliability in the area of cheap and simple solutions for relatively small amounts of water.

Project idea and concept

The project aims to develop a system, that can treat water for a household. We will publish a construction manual, that enables the distribution of the technology and empowers people to build the system on their own. The water gets treated thermally through solar energy and can thus replace boiling the water with scarce resources. The system’s design ensures that the output water always reaches a sufficient temperature, in case of a failure or insufficient sunshine the system will automatically stop dispensing water.

Completed project phases

As part of the project, a system was designed, modeled and tested that meets the desired requirements. With a total of three prototypes we tested various construction and manufacturing variants. Through thermal and microbiological tests the concept was validated. The technology of the system and backgrounds on the development process were published and are available at:


We tried to give an overview of the system, as well as giving more detailed information on technical and biological aspects. If you’ve still got questions, please check our FAQs.

Current status

The project phase in January 2017 is completed. Students of a vocational training center have built two working SoWaDi devices and are now using them. We are currently active to evaluate the project phase and plan our next steps.