On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738
In this study 5 household water-treatment devices/systems (HWTS) were constructed using inexpensive local materials (sand, gravel, zeolites and clays). They included the silver-impregnated porous pot filter (SIPP), the ceramic candle filter (CCF), the conventional biosand filter (BSF-S), a modified biosand filter with zeolites (BSF-Z), and a bucket filter (BF). Their ability to remove turbidity and pathogenic bacteria (Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella dysenteriae) from synthetic sterile water, groundwater and surface-water sources was evaluated. The flow rates ranged from 0.05ℓ∙h-1 to 2.49ℓ∙h-1 for SIPP; 1ℓ∙h-1 to 4ℓ∙h-1 for CCF; 0.81ℓ∙h-1 to 6.84ℓ∙h-1 for BSF-S; 1.74ℓ∙h-1 to 19.2ℓ∙h-1 for BSF-Z; and from 106.5ℓ∙h-1 to 160.5ℓ∙h-1 for BF. The highest (64% to 98% (0.74 to 1.08 NTU)) and lowest (14% to 76% (2.91 to 7.19 NTU)) average percentage turbidity removals were noted for SIPP and BF, respectively. The SIPP was the only device that consistently removed 100% of all target pathogens throughout the study. Its performance was found to be significantly superior (p<0.05) compared to that of the other four devices. Sixty (60%) to 100% bacterial removals were observed for BSF-S; 90% to 100% for BSF-Z; 90% to 100% for CCF; and 40% to 99.9% for BF. Based on the findings of this study the SIPP can be recommended for use by rural communities as it consistently produced high-quality water that complied with the SANS 241 turbidity and microbiological limits for drinking water.
Keywords : safe drinking water; household water treatment; waterborne pathogens.