Modular In-Line Water Purifier for MOLLE Hydration Systems

Period of Performance: 02/15/2011 - 02/14/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Cascade Designs
4000 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
Principal Investigator


Based on Cascade Designs expertise at developing individual water purification systems for the military and outdoor markets, we are proposing a novel in-line filter design that is based on incorporating multiple water purification technologies contained in a MOLLE compatible filter housing. Our proposed in-line filter will comprise of both size exclusion filtration and adsorptive media. The size exclusion step will remove all three classes of microbes (Protozoa, Bacteria, and Virus) to levels satisfying purification status including passing the NSF P248 test protocol. This filtration stage will also remove turbidity, algae and other contaminants contributing to the total suspended solids load to a level passing the military s drinking water standards while maintaining acceptable flow rates. During Phase I, Cascade Designs demonstrated the feasibility of the concept by showing that the proposed in-line filter design could satisfy the stringent flow rate, filter capacity and microbiological removal requirements established by the Army. We will continue in Phase II to optimize the performance of the complimentary water purification technologies and then design, assemble and test MOLLE compatible prototype filters. Our Phase II project will conclude with the delivery of 50 low-rate production filters to the Army for field testing in a relevant environment. Benefits The MOLLE compatible in-line filter developed in this Phase II SBIR program is intended for use by forward deployed soldiers operating in a hostile environment. These soldiers have a real need for a compact and lightweight water purification system that minimizes their exposure when collecting drinking water on the battlefield by enabling them to purify the water while on the move (i.e. enable a true scoop and run mode of water purification). Our approach is based on in-line filter that produces potable water devoid of any microbiological pathogens (i.e. functions as a hands-free microbiological purifier). Compared to the use of chemical disinfectants to treat surface water, this approach has the benefits of eliminating the need for a dwell time to ensure complete removal of any microbiological contaminants as well as improving the palatability of the treated water. Commercial applications of our approach will include gravity feed and hand-pump water purification systems that are designed specifically for the outdoor, travel and emergency preparedness markets. These markets have a real need for an effective outdoor water treatment product that is simple to operate and is a one-step purifier that can pass the microbiological removal requirements of the NSF P248 protocol.