A survey of point of use household water treatment options for rural south India: A report detailing resources available

This report examines the various methods of point-of-use water treatment options available, their pros and cons, and their suitability for South India.

Point of use household water treatment is the process of treating water at the household level to improve its microbiological purity. In cases where treated municipal water is not available, or is subject to recontamination due to a faulty distribution system, household water treatment is essential and allows families control over their drinking water. 

The objectives of the report as as follows:

  • To provide the reader with a basic understanding of the household water situation in southern India, including socio-cultural practices that may impact a POU intervention program.
  • To provide the reader with a basic overview of non-electric POU technologies that could potentially be used in rural South India.
  • To discuss the different factors to consider when determining which POU technology will work best in a community, using a case study of a village in  Andhra Pradesh to illustrate.
  • To provide the reader with a compendium of helpful resources related to introducing and implementing a new POU program in rural South India.

The paper begins with an explanation of the need for household treatment of water, and goes on to explain water sources and practices in India. These practices include collection, storage, sanitation and hygiene,and also cultural beliefs regarding water and diarrhea. 

The following point of use household water treatment options are explained, with the technology involved, extent of use in India, cost, advantages and disadvantages

  • Chlorine Disinfectant with safe water storage
  • Chloring-Flocculant sachets
  • Biosand filters
  • Ceramic filters
  • Solar water disinfection (SODIS)
  • Boiling

A village in Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh is then considered to illustrate the process of determining an appropriate solution. The report ends with an annotated list of resources (research and implementing organizations) that provide information about the various methods explained. 

Download the report here



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