A test was performed to evaluate the microbial and chemical purification capacity of nine portable, small-scale water purification filter devices with production capacity less than 100 L/h. The devices were tested for simultaneous removal capacity of bacteria (cultured Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterobacter cloacae), enteric protozoans (formalin-stored Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts), viral markers (F-RNA bacteriophages) and microcystins produced by toxic cyanobacterial cultures. In general, the devices tested were able to remove bacterial contaminants by 3.6-6.9 log10 units from raw water. Those devices based only on filtration through pores 0.2-0.4 μm or larger failed in viral and chemical purification. Only one device, based on reverse osmosis, was capable of removing F-RNA phages at concentrations under the detection limit and microcystins by 2.5 log10. The present study emphasised the need for evaluation tests of water purification devices from the public safety and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) points of view. Simultaneous testing for various pathogenic/indicator microbes and microcystins was shown to be a useful and practical way to obtain essential data on actual purification capacity of commercial small-scale drinking-water filters.

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