A Critical Overview of Household Slow Sand Filters for Water Treatment

B.L.S. Freitas, U.C. Terin, N.M.N. Fava, P.M.F. Maciel, L.A.T. Garcia, R.C. Medeiros, M. Oliveira, P. Fernandez-Ibañez, J.A. Byrne, L.P. Sabogal-Paz

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28 Citations (Scopus)
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Household, or point-of-use (POU), water treatments are effective alternatives to provide safe drinking water in locations isolated from a water treatment and distribution network. The household slow sand filter (HSSF) is amongst the most effective and promising POU alternatives available today. Since the development of the patented biosand filter in the early 1990s, the HSSF has undergone a number of modifications and adaptations to improve its performance, making it easier to operate and increase users’ acceptability. Consequently, several HSSF models are currently available, including those with alternative designs and constant operation, in addition to the patented ones. In this scenario, the present paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview from the earliest to the most recent publications on the HSSF design, operational parameters, removal mechanisms, efficiency, and field experiences. Based on a critical discussion, this paper will contribute to expanding the knowledge of HSSF in the peer-reviewed literature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117870
Number of pages11
JournalWater Research
Early online date16 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) UK Research and Innovation (SAFEWATER; EPSRC Grant Reference EP/P032427/1), The Royal Society (ICA\R1\201373 - International Collaboration Awards 2020), and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES-PROEX - Brazil, Financial code 001) for PhD and master's scholarships awarded to Bárbara Luíza Souza Freitas, Ulisses Costa Terin and Milina de Oliveira.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biosand filter
  • Point-of-use
  • Schmutzdecke layer
  • Slow sand filtration
  • Water treatment
  • Family Characteristics
  • Filtration
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Water Purification


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