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Quantity and Quality of Water Condensate from Air Conditioners and Its Potential Uses at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria)

Water, the universal solvent is a critical, limited, renewable resource. Conservation, which is the careful use and protection of water resources, is an important component of sustainable water use. The incessant power cuts in Nigeria have adversely affected domestic, municipal, agricultural and industrial water supply. The Faculty of Science complex at the University of Port Harcourt had been beset with irregular water supply, particularly during the peak of the dry season. The study was to estimate the quantity and quality of water condensate that could be harvested from air conditioners and its potential uses. One of the goals of the study was to harvest the water condensate and prevent the floor-tile-destroying streak it produces. Water was collected from 98 air conditioners over a 2 month period on week days. The study was repeated with 120 air conditioners. Calibrated containers were used for the collections. In the first study, the air conditioners yielded about 2416.0 L while in the second study, with more air conditioners, it was 15595.0 L. The physico-chemical values of water from both studies were generally within WHO standards. However, the bacterial counts were very high, outside the WHO limits. Although the water was not suitable for drinking, the limited volume harvested could be used for cleaning the laboratories, washing scientific equipment, watering of potted plants in greenhouses, conducting some scientific experiments and flushing toilets, etc. during periods of water scarcity, resulting from epileptic power supply. If electricity is generated regularly, air conditioners could become an alternative source of water I during periods of water crises, especially for displaced populations.

Author(s): M Aline E Noutcha, Oramabo Damiete, Mathew Johnny Jr., Oparanozie Ngozi, Chinwendum U Ezera, Samuel N Okiwelu

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