Solar water disinfection (SODIS) has proven to be effective at reducing diarrheal incidence in epidemiological intervention studies. However, the SODIS method is limited to waters of low turbidity (<30 NTU). This study investigates the use of common table salt (NaCl) to reduce the turbidity of water containing suspended colloidal clay particles for use in the SODIS method. Three representative clays found in tropical soils (kaolinite, illite and bentonite) were tested at three levels of turbidity (50, 100 and 200 NTU) for their flocculating behavior with multiple NaCl concentrations to find the optimum. Supernatants were tested for sodium concentration for comparison against health and taste thresholds. Results show that unlike kaolinite and illite, pure bentonite solutions were shown to be very responsive to NaCl and produced supernatants with as low as 4 NTU (98% particle removal efficiency). This study has shown that NaCl, in combination with high-activity clay particles in solution, may effectively reduce turbidity to levels suitable for SODIS treatment, thereby expanding the number of people who can utilize the technology effectively.

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