Preventing diarrhoea with household ceramic water filters: Assessment of a pilot project in Bolivia

Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK.
International Journal of Environmental Health Research (Impact Factor: 1.51). 07/2006; 16(3):231-9. DOI: 10.1080/09603120600641474
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In an attempt to prevent diarrhoea in a rural community in central Bolivia, an international non-governmental organization implemented a pilot project to improve drinking water quality using gravity-fed, household-based, ceramic water filters. We assessed the performance of the filters by conducting a five-month randomized controlled trial among all 60 households in the pilot community. Water filters eliminated thermotolerant (faecal) coliforms from almost all intervention households and significantly reduced turbidity, thereby improving water aesthetics. Most importantly, the filters were associated with a 45.3% reduction in prevalence of diarrhoea among the study population (p = 0.02). After adjustment for household clustering and repeated episodes in individuals and controlling for age and baseline diarrhoea, prevalence of diarrhoea among the intervention group was 51% lower than controls, though the protective effect was only borderline significant (OR 0.49, 95% CI: 0.24, 1.01; p = 0.05). A follow-up survey conducted approximately 9 months after deployment of the filters found 67% being used regularly, 13% being used intermittently, and 21% not in use. Water samples from all regularly used filters were free of thermotolerant coliforms.

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    • "Systematic reviews of field trials have suggested that household-based water quality interventions such as appropriate treatment and safe storage are effective in reducing diarrhoeal disease (Fewtrell et al. 2005; Clasen et al. 2006, 2007). Many technologies for POU water treatment exist and some are supported by extensive laboratory and field studies documenting effective reduction of waterborne pathogens and diarrhoeal disease in users. "
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    ABSTRACT: Low-cost options for the treatment of drinking water at the household level are being explored by the Cambodian government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Cambodia, where many lack access to improved drinking water sources and diarrhoeal diseases are the most prevalent cause of death in children under 5 years of age. The ceramic water purifier (CWP), a locally produced, low-cost ceramic filter, is now being implemented by several NGOs, and an estimated 100,000+households in the country now use them for drinking water treatment. Two candidate filters were tested for the reduction of bacterial and viral surrogates for waterborne pathogens using representative Cambodian drinking water sources (rainwater and surface water) spiked with Escherichia coli and bacteriophage MS2. Results indicate that filters were capable of reducing key microbes in the laboratory with mean reductions of E. coli of approximately 99% and mean reduction of bacteriophages of 90-99% over >600 litres throughput. Increased effectiveness was not observed in filters with an AgNO3 amendment. At under US$10 per filter, locally produced ceramic filters may be a promising option for drinking water treatment and safe storage at the household level.
    Journal of Water and Health 03/2010; 8(1):1-10. DOI:10.2166/wh.2009.007 · 1.46 Impact Factor
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