A Mobile Emergency Drinking Water System Powered by Renewable Energy


To increase the mobility and wellbeing of U.S. Army units a relatively light-weight, portable source of clean drinking water is needed to replace current practices of obtaining potable water. In addition to the need expressed by the Army, it has become apparent that delivering a reliable source of clean drinking water to municipalities during the aftermath of natural disasters such as Hurricane's Katrina and Ike is essential. Water supply and the associated transportation of potable water is a considerable burden on recovery efforts following a natural disaster. A low cost trailer mounted system, which uses an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection unit in conjunction with cartridge filters, can provide potable water from local surface water bodies until the infrastructure is renewed. The system is powered by a hybrid photovoltaic array and wind turbine system, which allows for the capability to pump and treat surface water when grid power is unavailable. In an effort to maintain low maintenance and increased storability associated with the system, relatively high-maintenance lead acid batteries have been eliminated, which also helps to reduce the system weight. Tests have been conducted to assess the ease of use, effectiveness and feasibility of the system.

Meeting Name

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress (2009: May 17-21, Kansas City, MO)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Second Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cartridge filters; Current practices; Drinking water systems; Ease of use; Grid power; Katrina; Light weight; Local surfaces; Low costs; Low maintenance; Natural disasters; Photovoltaic arrays; Pump and treat; Renewable energies; Storability; U.S. Army; Ultraviolet disinfections; Wellbeing; Wind turbine systems; Disasters; Maintainability; Metal recovery; Surface waters; Water supply; Water treatment; Wind power; Potable water

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2009