Assessing the sustainability of the silver-impregnated ceramic pot filter for low-cost household drinking water treatment
“A low-cost technology to treat water at the household level is the ceramic silver-impregnated pot filter (CSF). The CSF consists of a pot-shaped filter element that is placed in a plastic receptacle. The ceramic pot filter is a promising treatment system to supply safe drinking water especially to people living in rural areas. The focus of this study was to assess the sustainability of a household drinking water treatment system based on five criteria: (i) accessibility, (ii) water quality, (iii) water production, (iv) functionality, and (v) environmental footprint. The removal of Escherichia coli and protozoan (oo)cysts was found to be significant, which was supported by the reduction in diarrhoea cases observed by CSF users in a recent field study. The retention of MS2 bacteriophages as an indicator for virus removal was, however, found to be unsatisfactory. It is therefore recommended that research on virus removal by CSF continues, especially in relation to the colloidal silver application and other potential additives. The criterion of water production was shown to be the limiting factor, because it reduced substantially during treatment of surface water. The fast clogging of the CSF during the first hours of use was caused neither by inorganic nor organic fouling, but by colloidal particles. Two direct effects may be identified from the decreasing flow rate: frequent scrubbing and higher water prices. Frequent scrubbing results in a higher risk of recontamination and breakage. Based on this finding the authors recommend an optimization study to increase the initial flow rate without sacrificing the removal efficiency.”
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(Citaat: Halem, D. van, Laan, H. van der, et al., – Assessing the sustainability of the silver-impregnated ceramic pot filter for low-cost household drinking water treatment – Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 34(2009) p.36-42)