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Scaling Up Household Water Treatment

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Water treatment is a health intervention. People need good water everyday to be healthy. Water use also determines environmental health – the action of each person affects others. People often use water to carry away their waste. In developing countries this contaminates the water that is used for drinking, washing and cooking, and therefore, the water must be treated to make it safe.

The need for treatment to make contaminated water safe to drink is obvious, yet one out of five people in the world do not have good water to drink every day; they frequently must drink water that is contaminated by themselves or others.

This is not a technology issue – affordable household water treatment technologies already exist that have been proven to clean water and improve health (Sobsey et al, 2008). This is not an economic issue – it has been shown that the cost to treat water will repay itself many times over. This is a lack of knowledge issue – people do not know that household water treatment is available and affordable.

Household water treatment needs to be scaled up. The strategies, lessons, and challenges as identified by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), UNICEF, and the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) are outlined here.

Keywords: Household water treatment (HWT); developing countries; point of use (POU) water treatment; scaling-up

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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