Traditional household water purification methods practised by rural communities in developing countries - A compilation by the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems

What are the different ways through which water can be purified before it can be consumed? Read on to know more about the traditional and household water purification methods practised by rural communities in developing countries.

This article published in the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems includes a collation of traditional household water purification methods practised by rural communities in developing countries.

When drinking water is riddled with impurities it is necessary to purify it, as it is of paramount importance to human health and well being of any society. Though numerous technologies have come up to purify water, majority of population in developing countries, finds it difficult to use them. In such circumstances simple techniques with low level of mechanisation can be applied. Such techniques can serve small communities or individual households. This article provides a list of such techniques that have been developed to cater to the needs of such communities.

These techniques are simple and can treat water to a minimum extent wherein visible impurities can be removed. Thus they by no means can meet the set standards meant for consumption. The methods used by different communities in different countries are as follows:

  • Winnowing
  • Through cloth
  • Clay vessels
  • Clarification and filtration through plant material
  • Jempeng stone filter method
  • Horizontal flow coarse media filter
  • Upflow gravel filter
  • Two-stage filter
  • Upflow/downflow filter
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