In May 2013, Dr. Phillip Thompson returned to Huai Nam Khun, Thailand to follow-up on the water treatment projects at the children’s dormitory and medical clinic.
The project began in 2005 with the construction of a school dormitory and an assessment of the drinking water system. Due to the high levels of E Coli in the water, Seattle University returned in 2007 and 2009 to improve drinking water. On the trips Seattle University worked along with Chiang Mai University students in order to implement water treatment systems at both the school dormitory and the medical center. After the implementation of the water systems, the amount of E Coli reduced to approaching the quality of bottled water.
The purpose of the May 2013 trip to Huai Nam Khun was to replace the previous systems with ultrafiltration devices. Ultrafiltration is a type of membrane filtration that utilizes a semi-permeable membrane which liquid is forced against using hydrostatic pressure. Tests taken of the water after ultrafiltration show that the device has reduced the amount of E Coli present in the water dramatically from untreated water.
As well as improving the filtration quality, a new outdoor water station was constructed in a shelter near the medical center. This water station serves around 5,000 people.
Currently some locals of Huai Nam Khun are performing the E Coli tests and as of now they have remained positive, showing that the E Coli levels are similar to that of bottled water.