Video: Winner of 2011 Environmental Challenge Installs Arsenic Groundwater Removal System in Cambodia

Video: Winner of 2011 Environmental Challenge Installs Arsenic Groundwater Removal System in Cambodia

Multimedia from this Release

Friday, April 5, 2013 - 10:55am

CAMPAIGN: Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary

In 2011, the Tangore-SenGupta Foundation won first prize of $50,000 in the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge. 

The project, "Sustainable Treatment of Contaminated Groundwater in Cambodia: Turning a Crisis into an Economic Enterprise", focuses on arsenic removal in ground-sourced drinking water in Cambodia. Many people living in the Mekong river floodplains in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos use water contaminated with arsenic at concentrations typically over 20 times the safe limit prescribed by the World Health Organization. The project involves an arsenic groundwater removal system using locally available chemical compounds and reusable sand filters. Ground water is pumped into an overhead tank, chemically stabilised, filtered using reusable arsenic-selective adsorbents, and converted into stable sludge/solids for safe long-term storage. Twelve community-level arsenic removal units are to be installed in remote villages and schools in Cambodia.

The project, using locally available raw materials, will complement traditional methods of water collection and costs will be shared by users. Environmental sustainability is addressed through the careful containment and storage of the arsenic removed from the contaminated water to ensure it does not leach into the environment. Socio-economic sustainability will be addressed through the formation and functioning of community water councils to ensure efficient operation and upkeep of the units. The Tagore-SenGupta Foundation, based in Pennsylvania, will be partnering with Cambodian NGO, This Life Cambodia, and Lehigh University.


A video of the second prize winner PATH, who have developed a scalable school water treatment and education programme in Kenya, can be viewed here.

More information on the Environmental Challenge can be found at

The 2013 Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge is accepting applications until 15 April. Apply now!

CATEGORY: Environment