Household water treatment and safe storage

Treating turbid water

For the most promising household water treatment systems of chlorination with an improved storage vessel, solar disinfection with UV plus heat in clear bottles for sunlight penetration (SODIS), and UV irradiation with lamps, effective treatment of turbid water remains a challenge. This is because microbial reductions are decreased or prevented by turbidity particles that reduce access to target microbes or otherwise protect them from inactivation by other mechanisms. Suspended matter in water reduces the microbiocidal efficacy of chlorine and other chemical disinfectants, and it physically shields microbes from the UV radiation that is present in sunlight and emitted from mercury arc lamps and responsible for much of its disinfection activity. There is a need to investigate, characterize and implement physical and physical-chemical technologies for practical and low cost pre-treatment of treatment of household water prior to chlorination, solar disinfection with UV plus heat and UV disinfection with lamps. Appropriate physical and physical-chemical methods for effective pre-treatment for household water needed to be established, taking into consideration turbid waters of different quality with respect to particle characteristics and their removal efficiencies. In principle, some physical or physical-chemical methods may be highly effective for treatment of stored household water on their own. Pre-treatment technologies for removal of turbidity (suspended matter) from water suitable for such applications potentially include:

  • Settling or plain sedimentation
  • Fiber, cloth or membrane filters
  • Granular media filters and
  • Slow sand and Biosand filter