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LifeStraw® Family 1.0

lifestrawfamilyteaserimageLifeStraw® Family 1.0 is a powerful, high-volume water purifier for use in homes without access to clean water from municipal sources. It helps prevent often deadly waterborne diseases for families in developing countries and is effective in emergency settings following natural disasters which can contaminate water.

  • Converts microbiologically contaminated water into clean, safe drinking water
  • Filters up to 18,000 litres of EPA-quality water, enough to supply a family of five with clean drinking water for three years
  • Removes virtually all bacteria (99.9999 percent), protozoan parasites (99.99 percent) and viruses (99.999 percent) that can contaminate water
  • Reduces turbidity (muddiness) by filtering particulate matter larger than 0.02 microns
  • Made of durable plastic
  • Doesn’t require electrical power, batteries or replacement parts  
  • Uses hollow fibre technology which meets the standard for the “highly protective” category of safe water interventions by the World Health Organization

How It Works

    • 780 million people in the world lack access to an improved source for drinking water1.
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    • 61 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa still don’t have access to safe drinking water1.
    • Lack of access to safe drinking water contributes to the staggering burden of diarrheal disease worldwide.
    • Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhea1.
    • LifeStraw® also addresses cryptosporidium which was recently found to be a leading cause of diarrheal illness in children under five and is attributed to higher mortality in children under two4.
    • Point-of-use (POU) treatments such as LifeStraw® Family can accelerate the health gains associated with the provision of safe drinking water to at-risk populations. 
    • Improvement of drinking-water quality, such as point-of-use disinfection, could lead to a 45% reduction of diarrhea episodes2.
    • Among all point-of-use water treatment methods, water filters have been shown to be the most effective for reducing diarrheal diseases3.
    • LifeStraw® Family is the backbone of the LifeStraw® Carbon for Water™ campaign in Kenya, which is providing more than 4.5 million Kenyans with sustainable access to clean and safe drinking water.



    1UNICEF and World Health Organization. 2012. Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: 2012 Update. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation.

    2United Nations Millennium Project. Health, Dignity, and Development: What Will it Take? 

    3Clasen, T.F., Roberts, I.G., Rabie, T., Schmidt, W.P., & Cairncross, S. 2006. Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhea. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,(3), CD004794.

    4Kotloff K, Nataro J, Blackwelder W, Nasrin D, Farag TH, Panchalingham S. 2013. Burden and aetiology of diarrhoeal disease in infants and young children in developing countries (the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, GEMS): a prospective, case-control study. Lancet.

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    ® Family uses advanced hollow fiber technology. Water is forced through narrow fibers under high pressure. Clean water exits through tiny pores in the walls of the hollow fibers, but bacteria, protozoa, and other contaminants are trapped inside the hollow fibres and are flushed out by backwashing. This is a highly efficient method of filtration.

    1. Feed water bucket with prefilter has 2 litre capacity for filling with unpurified water
    2. The 80 micron textile prefilter removes coarser particles and is easy to clean
    3. Halogen chamber releases low-level chlorine to prevent membrane fouling
    4. Plastic hose is one metre long. Gravity creates sufficient pressure on the membrane cartridge in order to reach a high flow rate
    5. Ultra filtration takes place in the membrane cartridge – a pore size of 20 nanometre retains bacteria, viruses, parasites and fine dirt particles
    6. Blue tap is turned to release purified water
    7. Backwashing of the membranes is done by squeezing the red bulb three times and releasing the dirty water from the red tap
    8. Exit valve disposes the dirt and impurities

    NOTE: Water from the red exit tap should never be consumed.


  • Effective

    • Uses advanced hollow fiber technology
    • Removes viruses, bacteria and protozoan parasites
    • Removes turbidity (muddiness)
    • Meets highly protective category by World Health Organization
    • Meets United States EPA drinking water standards

    Easy to Use

    • Easy to operate
    • Requires no electrical power, batteries or replacement parts
    • Requires no running water or piped water supply
    • Has an easy-to-clean pre-filter and purification cartridge


    • Uses raw materials that meet US Food and Drug Administration regulations and standards


    • Filters up to 18,000 litres of water, enough to supply a family of five with clean drinking water for three years, removing the need for repeat intervention


    • Long-lasting, easy operation, scalable to underserved communities
  • In 2011, around 880,000 LifeStraw® Family water filters were distributed in Kenya to provide sustainable access to safe drinking water for 4.5 million people.

Recent News

  • Malaria No More honors Mikkel Vestergaard as one of ten innovators that will make possible the end of malaria in our lifetimes
  • US President’s Malaria Initiative visits Vestergaard-Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
  • Vestergaard joins Roll Back Malaria and Business Alliance against Malaria at World Health Assembly calling for the rapid uptake of innovative tools to eliminate malaria

Malaria Research

IR Mapper is a tool that helps inform vector control strategies by mapping insecticide resistance in mosquitoes that transmit malaria, Zika, Dengue and other mosquito borne diseases. This helps inform vector control strategies.


Buy LifeStraw®

For consumer purchases, visit LifeStraw® to find a local retailer. For each consumer purchase, one school child in Africa will receive clean water for an entire school year. For large quantities purchased for public health settings, contact us


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