Water safety plans (WSPs) are promoted by the WHO as the most effective means of securing drinking water safety. To date most experience with WSPs has been within utility supplies, primarily in developed countries. There has been little documented experience of applying WSPs to small community-managed systems, particularly in developing countries. This paper presents a case study from Bangladesh describing how WSPs can be developed and implemented for small systems. Model WSPs were developed through consultation with key water sector practitioners in the country. Simplified tools were developed to translate the formal WSPs into a format that was meaningful and accessible for communities to use. A series of pilot projects were implemented by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) across the country covering all major water supplies. The results show that WSPs can be developed and implemented for small community managed water supplies and improve the sanitary condition and water quality of water sources. Hygiene behaviour improved and household water quality showed a significant reduction in contamination. Chlorination was found to be important for some technologies, thus increasing the costs of water supply and raising important problems with respect to transfer to the communities. Simple tools for community monitoring were found to be effective in supporting better water safety management.

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