PURIFLUME-UDBS - Carnegie Mellon University

The PURIFLUME is a mobile, proof-of-concept, closed-loop water filtration system that features elements commonly found in a municipal spray park.  Acting as a fun education tool, The PURIFLUME will provide information on water conservation while also providing an exciting experience for children of all ages.  The PURIFLUME is result of the work of 12 students under the direction of Professor John Folan.

The PURIFLUME project began in response to the UDBS student’s work on the Leslie Park Pool masterplan beginning in the fall of 2010.  UDBS students worked on a sustainable spray park proposal for the decommissioned Leslie Pool that would utilize environmentally friendly spray park equipment and Pennsylvania’s first water filtration system.  As a result, funding and local support emerged to create a mobile prototype of the proposed sustainable water filtration system.  The PURIFLUME is made possible by funding from Allegheny County’s Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund (CITF), Ford Motor Company’s Ford College Community Challenge, and AutoDesk, in collaboration with Baker Engineering, Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), Department of Public Works (DPW), Pittsburgh Water and Sewage Authority (PWSA), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and with the support of the Leslie Park Pool Collective, and Senator Ferlo. 

The PURIFLUME is a dynamic educational experience for children.  The mobile project houses a water slide within its structural rib matrix as the primary attraction for children.  The water is then stored in cisterns and treated through water management equipment (diatomaceous earth filter, UV sterilizer, and chlorine generator) on The PURIFLUME.  Testing of water quality and safety is available through a series of data collection points that are installed into the closed loop system.  The testing results become a crucial part of advancing local and regional perspective on sustainable water treatment options.  The data collected from The PURIFLUME will become evidence to support the implimentation of closed loop water management technology, advance sustainable practices, as well as providing a possible solution to the issues of municipal water management in the city of Pittsburgh. 

children playinggirl in foreground

Educational side with sprayheads (Interchangable and interactive low flow technology) and flexible tubing (passive solar heating, static headloss, and variable configuration) in background. PURIFLUME Deployment, June 22, 2012


Aerial perspective of educational side during operational testing.  UDBS members are at various systems stations.

exit stair

Exit side view as final touches and operational testing occurs. 

exit stair

Hitch/Exit side view of children on The PURIFLUME. PURIFLUME Deployment. June 22 2012.

exit side back

Exit side view of The PURIFLUME in operation.  From left to right : a child is descending the exit stairs, educational track, visual systems void, and the queue for the slide entrance.

educational elevation

Education side elevation view of The PURIFLUME.  An UDBS member is seen working between the skirt pieces on an systems connection.

girl in towel

Exit and Entrance side view of children circulating around the project.


C-MITES program attends deployment.  Children on the educational side play with the sprayheads as they queue up for the slide. PURIFLUME Deployment June 22 2012.

children lining up

PURIFLUME in operation. From left to right a child is exiting the basin area, an UDBS member explains the systems in the visual void to a student, a child ascends the entrance stair to the slide, C-MITES in queue.  PURIFLUME Deployment June 22 2012.

shutter speed constuction

Photograph of construction using a high shutter speed setting.


PURIFLUME lighting on educational side with PURIFLUME signage. PURIFLUME Deployment, JUNE 21, 2012.


PURIFLUME lighting on exit side with visual void. PURIFLUME Deployment, JUNE 21, 2012.


PURIFLUME lighting on exit side with visual void. PURIFLUME Deployment, JUNE 21, 2012.