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Chlorinating household water in The Gambia

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:07 authored by Christopher J. Austin
This study investigated the feasibility of providing safe drinking and cooking water by in-home chlorination of household water jars (HWJ). Open well water quality was measured in the dry and rainy season and found acceptable for chlorination. Rural village women were taught to dose their HWJs with a diluted household bleach solution to give an organoleptically acceptable dose of 2.0 mg/L chlo­rine. This dose eliminated fecal coliforms within 30 min­utes and protected stored water for 24 hours. A 22 village double blind randomized intervention trial was carried out over a rainy season. No effect of HWJ chlorination on the incidence of diarrhea was detected. A trend was revealed that for children 6-24 months, villages which chlorinated the HWJs did not suffer a significant decrease in the village mean weight-for-height Z-score as compared to control villages (p =.1170). In children 6-24 months and also 25-60 months, the control group suffered a significant increase in the proportion of malnourished children (p=.0002); where­as the intervention group did not experience a significant increase (p=. I 000). The study concluded that women chlorinating their HWJs may be an appropriate avenue of providing safe drinking and cooking water in rural commu­nities.


This study was carried out in partial fulfilment of the Doctor of Science degree and was supported by funds from the International Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


AUSTIN, C.J., 1993. Chlorinating household water in The Gambia. IN: Pickford, J. et al. (eds). Water, sanitation, environment and development: Proceedings of the 19th WEDC International Conference, Accra, Ghana, 6-10 September 1993, pp.90-92.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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