Abstract

Vulnerable communities can improve their life quality using point-of-use water treatment technologies. Among these technologies, household slow sand filters (HSSF), which are filters adapted to domestic operations, stand out as one of the most effective and sustainable alternatives. However, some technical issues are not fully understood, such as the ripening process, which may take a long time to take place. In this context, this research evaluated the performance of a HSSF, in real scale and operated in continuous flow when a source of nutrients (fish food) was added to influent water, as a potential ripening agent. Physicochemical and microbiological parameters were evaluated to estimate the filter efficiency. According to the results, the HSSF reached a partial ripeness level in a short time with target parameter reduction in filtered water. Nevertheless, the instability observed in the filtered water quality reveals the significant health risks associated to human consumption when the HSSF is not yet ripened.

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