A simple and low-cost household-based arsenic (As) removal filter (ARF) was tested under actual field conditions in a rural area of Bangladesh. The ARF consisted of a ceramic filter made of clay soil and rice bran collected on-site, iron netting and iron bacterial sludge liquor. Fifteen ARFs (14 shallow and one deep tubewells) were installed in three villages (five in each area) in the Khulna region (southwestern region of Bangladesh), and their performance was evaluated. More than 60% of ARFs produced effluent with As <50 μg/L (Bangladesh standard level). The effects of Fe and P on As removal were the same as in laboratory experiments. X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) analysis showed the adsorption of primarily As(V), with lesser amounts of As(III). Continuous As removal performance was observed over 1 year of ARF use. By introducing a double ARF system, the As removal was significantly enhanced for the region with high As contamination levels. The ARF manufacturing cost was estimated to be US$4–5, which is low and affordable to the rural households of Bangladesh. The ARF, made of locally available materials, had a low cost and minimal maintenance and showed high user acceptance, satisfaction and sustained use.

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