A randomised controlled field trial was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of ceramic drip filters to improve the microbiological quality of drinking water in a low-income community in rural Bolivia. In four rounds of water sampling over five months, 100% of the samples were free of thermotolerant (faecal) coliforms (TTC) compared to an arithmetic mean TTC count of 1517, 406, 167 and 245 among control households which continued to use their customary sources of drinking water. The filter systems produced water that consistently met WHO drinking-water standards despite levels of turbidity that presented a challenge to other low-cost POU treatment methods. The filter systems also demonstrated an ability to maintain the high quality of the treated water against subsequent re-contamination in the home.

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