Island Entrepreneurs purify the Water

Island Entrepreneurs purify the Water

Island Entrepreneurs purify the Water

In the past, Easter Islanders got their drinking water from the craters of the extinct volcanoes Rano Kau, Rano Raraku and Rano Aroi, as well as from the many subterranean caves that, even to the present day, hold an abundance of fresh water. Rainwater filters quickly through the porous soil and is naturally collected in aquifers that are found at around 60 meters (200 feet) of depth. Today, the two municipal water sources are the gully at Mataveri on the south side of the Island and the Ara Piki district to the north. The water that is pumped out goes through a chemical process to make it safe for drinking.

With the initiative of some young Rapanui entrepreneurs, the residents and visitors of the Island are now able to enjoy purified water through modern technology, which is considered better tasting and healthier than that from the pipes.

From the three firms: Vai Nativa collects and purifies rainwater which is then sold in glass. In the Chilean Premium Water competition of 2017, they received a diploma for “Bio-innovation Project for Easter Island” with a maximum score. The other two firms, Vai Henua and Vai Tea, purify the water of the municipal system through reverse osmosis technology, a system which softens the water and filters it with activated carbon and ultraviolet light, before bottling, and offer it in 20 liter (5 gallon) large reusable bottles. Vai Tea are also reducing the use of disposable plastic bottles offering individual returnable or reusable bottles made of stainless steel. This bottles or any other recipient can be refilled in the refill stations at several strategic points on the Island.

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