Especially in developing countries, tap water can be unsafe, because of inadequate treatment, recontamination during transport or storage or at home. "Point of use" and small-scale treatment is a promising strategy to improve access to safe drinking water, in particular for the poor. Recent studies show that PoU reduces diarrhea morbidity for children under 5 by 29 % and is more effective than source water treatment, piped water on premises and improved public water supply.
Presently, chlorination of water in urban schemes and boiling of water at home are the most common methods of disinfection. But chlorination has an impact on taste and can be harmful in the longer term. Boiling requires a lot of scarce energy (wood, charcoal, gas, electricity) and brings about a high number of incidents. This booklet provides a number of alternative methods, which can be used at family, community or village scale. We call them SMART solutions, as they are challenging, ingenious, attractive, simple to use and affordable for many.
This booklet, part of the Smart Water Solutions series, can help those who advise on systems for home water treatment in rural areas decide which method is best for a specific situation and what effect can be expected with respect to reduction of harmful micro-organisms. It provides a wide range of methods and products. It also gives some price indications and refers to specific websites for further information.
This publication is a co-production of NWP (Netherlands Water Partnership), Aqua for All and Witteveen+Bos.