PATH design used to develop new family of water filters

December 12, 2012 by PATH

Amy MacIver, 206.302.4522,

Seattle, December 12, 2012—This month, three Chinese manufacturers began selling new, low-cost household water filters that were developed using PATH’s design guidelines. All of the new products deliver user-centered design, standardization, and affordable performance.

The most important feature of these new water filters is the C1 common interface, which accepts any C1-compatible replacement filter element, allowing users to shop for replacement filter elements (cartridges) on the open market.

PATH developed its design guidelines—which specify the C1 interface—after nearly three years ofresearch among low-income households in India, Cambodia, and parts of Africa. PATH then tested the guidelines by developing a prototype reference filter and field-testing it in India in 2010.

In February 2011, PATH shared its design guidelines globally and offered technical support to three water filter manufacturers in China to develop new products that would meet the needs of low-income families in parts of Africa and Southeast Asia. To do so, the products feature intuitive assembly, easy maintenance, appealing look and feel, and durable materials. One of the available filter elements sets a new price-performance benchmark for low-cost gravity-flow ceramic filters, removing over 99.99% of bacteria.

Working independently of each other, each of the three manufacturers came up with their own products. Together, they make up a new family of household water filters geared specifically for the low-income user. “We appreciate the commitment our Chinese partners have shown over the past two years. Product choices are likely to expand in the years to come as more companies adopt the C1 common interface and follow PATH’s design standards,” explains Pat Lennon, group leader for PATH’s product development team. “With the C1-interface, users have increased choice in devices and filter elements and manufacturers have a new foundation for innovation. We are very hopeful that our design standards can pave the way for more innovation at the low-cost end of the market.”

Specifications for both the devices (the shell) and the replaceable filter elements are available from PATH under the terms of a standard, no-cost license. Information on design guidelines, no-cost license, manufacturers, or their products, are available on the water program website.

About PATH’s Safe Water Project

The PATH Safe Water Project explores innovative ways to improve access to and interest in appropriate water treatment products and methods among low-income communities. The focus of the five-year project is to determine how commercial-market forces could be used to supply appropriate, water treatment products to low-income households and encourage correct and consistent use of those products over time. For more information, visit:

Products referred to in this announcement are made and sold solely by the respective companies. PATH receives no consideration, and makes no representation or warranty express or implied, with respect to the products or the technologies embodied therein.