Locally produced ceramic pot filters have been shown to improve the microbiological quality of household drinking water and reduce the burden of diarrheal disease in users. They are considered one of the most promising household water treatment methods. However, overarching manufacturing and quality control guidelines do not exist for the 35 decentralized filter factories in 18 countries that currently produce filters. In this study, we conducted manufacturing process surveys with 25 filter factories worldwide to document production methods and identify areas where manufacturing and quality control guidelines are needed. Our results show that manufacturing processes vary widely both between and within factories, including the consistency of materials, manufacturing methods, and quality control practices. These variations pose concerns about the consistency and quality of locally produced filters in the absence of standardized quality control procedures. We propose areas where manufacturing guidelines are needed to assist factories in producing consistently high quality filters, and identify topics where further research is needed to refine manufacturing recommendations. These results guided the development of a best practice manual that described consensus-based recommendations to advance consistent, quality-controlled filter production world-wide.

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