INTRODUCTION: In 1991 when the building work was started there was no water supply to Bethany and all the water was carried in the traditional way, in a bucket on the head, from the lake. The lake water around the shore line is not always the cleanest as the fish are cleaned and gutted there, clothes are washed and people use the lake to bathe in. We realised that we would need to purify any water we took from the lake and our first method of extracting and purifying the water was by diesel pump and UV Filter. The UV filter was powered by a succession of secondhand diesel generators which ran several hours each day to provide power for the 70 watt UV filter.
UV FILTER: This type of water purifier consists of a glass tube which holds a UV tube (like a flourescent tube, only it glows violet) which allows water to pass around it and exposes whatever is in the water to a fatal dose of ultra violet rays. Therefore the bugs and bacteria in the water remain in the water but are rendered harmless and sterile.
PUMPS: Our first pump was a portable single cylinder diesel pump which we would wheel-barrow down to the lake shore each day and pump water for about 4 hours to fill our water tank. (The water tank was supplied and erected by the firemen from East Lancashire). We wore out and repaired several of these pumps before we received a grant from ‘Rotary International’ towards provision of solar panels, solar pump, inverter and huge storage batteries. The solar pump we now use is powered by 24 solar panels erected on a 20 foot tower, each panel is welded to a frame welded to the tower. We have an electric fence on the sides of the tower and also above the 8 foot high security fence. Barbed wire is everywhere. We take these precautions as we believe we should do all we can to be good stewards of the money donated which has provided for this life saving high tech equipment. The new solar pump on a sunny day is able to fill the tank in about 5 hours (32,000 litres). Bethany uses this amount of water every day for drinking, cooking, washing, cleaning and irrigation
SOLAR ELECTRICITY: We have another solar tower with 36 solar panels which is situated at the top of the site next to the water tower. These panels supply all our other electrical needs (other than the solar pump). They store the electricity provided by the sun in a series of 24 huge, heavy duty, deep cycle 2 volt lead acid cells. The power is then converted from 48 volt DC (24x 2 volt) to 240 volt AC current and it is then cabled throughout the site to provide lighting etc. The most important use of the power is to provide power for the UV water filter and for lighting at night. Again security takes high priority and special measures are employed to ensure prospective thieves will be deterred and other measures to ensure that any attempt to steal any of this equipment would be unsuccessful.
Please browse through our photo gallery to see this equipment in situ.
MAINS ELECTRICITY: In 2010 we were connected to the mains electricity. Unfortunately the supply is spasmodic and sometimes is is off for days on end. This makes it difficult to plan anything that depends on electricity, it is also inconvenient.
Click here to see photos of the water tank, solar panels, batteries, UV filter, etc.etc.