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 SRU to Hold 3-Day Water Filter Conference; Helping Developing Nations 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:



     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. –  A three-day Water Filter Conference showcasing the research of Slippery Rock University art students in development of a low-input ceramic kiln and flame induction burner system used in firing Potters for Peace ceramic water filters used in developing countries will be held Nov. 3-5 on the SRU campus.

     The conference, headed by Richard Wukich, professor of art and a recognized ceramicist, will assemble various researchers, experts, and interested patrons from the regional community and nation to present their latest accomplishments. The event will showcase research pertaining to the making and marketing of the colloidal silver enhanced ceramic water filters being used to remove water impurities, making the water suitable for human consumption.

     Participants will demonstrate the system to representatives of Rotary International and other potential financial supporters to show the capabilities of the filter technology in providing low cost, ecologically sound methods of water treatment in developing nations. The conference will also update the progress of the on-going efforts of Potters for Peace, Rotary International, Pure Water for All, Shoulder to Shoulder, Pittsburgh, and the SRU Potter’s Guild to plan and build a model filter production facility in El Progresso, Honduras.

      The conference will be used to educate staff, students, faculty and the public about the system as well as publicize the viability of the ceramic water filter while demonstrating the leadership role SRU has assumed in this project. 

     The opening day’s events will offer demonstrations of filter making, including clay preparation, forming methods, firing methods, testing and colloidal silver treatment. Manny Hernandez, a professor of art at Northern Illinois University, will work with SRU students to construct the special kiln he designed. Lowell Baker, professor of art at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, will work with SRU students to assemble the bicycle-powered and saw-dust fueled blower burner, and filter pots will be processed, dried and prepared for firing in the newly constructed kiln.

     Nov. 4 activities will include the actual firing of the ceramic vessels, and Reid Harvey, engineer/potter who has developed techniques of his candle-type ceramic filter using colloidal silver; Dr. Steve Arrasmith, assistant director of the Center for Advanced Ceramic Study, at Alfred University, will demonstrate forming techniques of the cell pore technology; U.S. Army Capt. Richard Nardo, a MIT engineering graduate, will present a slide lecture titled “Water Filters in a War Zone”; and a round-table discussion will be conducted on the merits of the various water filter designs, as well as how the cell core and geo membrane can be incorporated into the existing water filter systems. An evening reception will be held at the Wukich Family Farm in Slippery Rock.

     Nov. 5 presentations by participants will include: Dr. Patrick Burkhart, SRU associate professor of geography, geology and the environment, will update participants with “What’s Up with Water,” and Derek Martin, president of SRU Potter’s Guild, will present the research on the alternative firing methods conducted by students. Hernandez will talk about his latest work with the round bottom filter design in the Dominican Republic; Harvey will discuss his work in Africa; Samantha Sherer, chair of the Potters for Peace water filters committee, will show her project in Bali; Dr. Mark Meyer, a physician and president of Shoulder to Shoulder will explain his organization’s work in Honduras and outlines problems caused by water-borne diseases and the health impact of the point of use water filter; Rusty Shuping, inventor and will demonstrate his research of the geo membrane and his low-cost chlorine generator. The potential of the cell pore technology and its application to water purification.

     Dr. Jack Saluga, a nuclear physicist, will explain colloidal silver and the way it acts as an antimicrobial agent; Jon Naugle, of Enterprise Works, Washington, D.C.,  will talk about marketing products in developing nations; Tom Nunnally, head of Pure Water for All, will outline Rotary International plans and those of its subsidiary action organizations Pure Water for All, the Rotary club of El Progresso, and Shoulder to Shoulder Pittsburgh to build a model water filter manufacturing and distribution facility in El Progresso; and Wukich will detail his efforts with the U.S. military in Iraq to establish a water filter-making facility.




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