In the News

Underwriters Laboratories Helps Refine Water Safety Protocols

Underwriters Laboratories, the global independent safety science organization, is supporting Safe Water Network’s initiatives to develop the local technical capability to own and manage rural water systems. Engineers from UL provided guidance on important procedures and processes that water operators must follow to ensure consistency of source water and treatment. The company also provided $10,000 in funding for developing a quality protocol for rural water systems. 

This Quality Assurance module is part of Safe Water Network’s Tools for Safe Water Stations which includes a series of standardized training manuals and materials for the design, construction and operation of a Safe Water Station. The methods, approaches and techniques contained in these modules were developed, tested and refined in Safe Water Network’s field initiatives based in Ghana and India. Quality Assurance is a new module and is part of our on-going commitment to update and improve these tools. 

Dr. T.N.V.V. Rao, Ph.D., UL’s water business and operations manager for India, led the review of our water quality process, streamlining procedures to ensure that rural communities could execute these water quality protocols, given the limited resources and capabilities of a rural water station operator. 

“We had a comprehensive quality assurance program that involved testing both the raw water source and the treated water from our water stations,” says Ravi Sewak, Safe Water Network’s India director, “but we needed a clear and concise process that communities could ultimately oversee themselves. We welcomed support from Dr. Rao, one of India’s leading authorities in this area.” 

“Safe Water Network’s commitment to consistent testing and having a certified lab analyze community water is significant,” says Dr. Rao of UL. “This is an important step in assuring that decentralized water systems deliver consistent safe water that meets national standards.” 

The updated water quality assurance protocols overseen by Dr. Rao are now being introduced at each of our sites. “Providing the on-going support and training is critical,” adds Dr. Rao. “I’ve been impressed with Safe Water Network’s commitment to developing local capability and skills as well as their continued oversight until the community demonstrates the ability to stand on its own.”