The long-term sustainability of household bio-sand filtration
conference contributionposted on 12.02.2018 by Eric Fewster, Adriaan Mol, Cleo Wiesent-Brandsma
Any type of content contributed to an academic conference, such as papers, presentations, lectures or proceedings.
The introduction of intermittently operated slow sand filters, suitable for use at household level, is gaining momentum in the developing world. An estimated 100,000 bio-sand filters are already in use, providing improved drinking water to more than half a million people. Laboratory and field research has shown that bio-sand filters are capable of impressive reductions of turbidity and pathogen levels. However, long-term sustainability, social acceptance and appropriateness have not been well documented. An evaluation was therefore conducted in rural Kenya to measure the performance of filters introduced 4 years previously. Measuring turbidity and E.coli removal rates, maintenance practices and user perceptions, the study found all but one filter were still in use with over 70% producing water of good quality. Underperformance of some filters pointed at poor maintenance habits. As a ‘point-of-use’ water treatment solution, bio-sand filtration seems to be very appropriate, effective and cheap. Strategies to introduce this promising technology at a large scale need to be seriously investigated.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
- Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)