Methods for Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage


Hello everone. As we know, potable water is vital to well-being. But often water quality is not safe to drink due to contamination during transport or storage. Recent research demonstrates that simple, low-cost interventions at the household and community levels  can dramatically improve the quality of water and reduce the risks of diarrhea and other water born disease. I am interested in knowing some simple methods for Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage adopted at different places. These methods should be low cost and simple to follow for the poop society. Thank you.



Richard  Fishman
I have been able to purify drinking water permanently by the use of magnesium oxide (MgO). www.PrillyPureWater.Net
dany tade
Thanks everyone for your valuable comments and links provided.
Ryan Rowe
Hi Dany,

There are a variety of methods that are proven to be effective at improving water quality at the point of use.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, more solutions offered by private companies, but many of these have only been tested in the laboratory, not in the field with the communities and the households where safe drinking-water will have the greatest health impact. Therefore it is important to pick a product that is known to be accepted by the community you are working with. As you have considered, simple is often better, but it needs to be effective!

The water quality in the community where you are working with will determine the choice of technology/method. Some of the considerations are the level of turbidity, the type of pathogen present in the water (virus, bacteria or protozoa), and whether there are any non-microbial contaminants, such as nitrates, arsenic, or fluoride.

Once you've determined what the risks are, you can choose the method.

Table A2.4 in the WHO document "Evaluating HWT options" published in 2011 provides a list of some of the generic categories of HWT options and the types of microbial pathogens against which they are effective. You can download it here:

Annex A of the WHO & UNICEF toolkit mentioned by Nathalie Board above includes a similar such list.

The above resources were developed with extensive input from members of the International Network on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage. I would like to invite you to get involved (its free), if not to contribute, at least to be kept updated on developments in the sector. You can learn more about the Network's activities here:

Official WHO site:

Official communications site by the Water Institute at UNC:

Please do not hesitate to let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Best regards,


Ryan Rowe
Household Water Specialist
The Water Institute
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
email: | skype: ryanrowe | twitter: @ryanrowe

International Network on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage | Combating waterborne disease at the household level
Over 150 member organizations globally | Co-hosted by WHO and UNICEF | Communications by UNC
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Nathalie  Board
WHO has mentioned that In order to develop effective mechanisms to encourage and sustain correct use of household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS), there is a need to monitor and evaluate uptake. To date, there has been a lack of harmonized relevant tools and indicators to assist in the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of HWTS programmes. This document is intended to address this need.The Toolkit provides an overall framework for planning, conducting, and utilizing monitoring and evaluation data to improve programme outcomes.
Dany the best thing will be to refere to the WHO literature. You can download the literature directly here.
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