Drinking water treatment by multistage filtration on a household scale: Efficiency and challenges

R.C. medeiros, N. de M. N. Fava, B.L.S. Freitas, Lyda P Sabogal-Paz, M. T. Hoffmann, James Davis, Pilar Fernandez-Ibanez, John Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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Universalising actions aimed at water supply in rural communities and indigenous populations must focus on simple and low-cost technologies adapted to the local context. In this setting, this research studied the dynamic gravel filter (DGF) as a pre-treatment to household slow-sand filters (HSSFs), which is the first description of a household multistage filtration scale to treat drinking water. DGFs (with and without a non-woven blanket on top of the gravel layer) followed by HSSFs were tested. DGFs operated with a filtration rate of 3.21 m3 m−2.d−1 and HSSFs with 1.52 m3 m−2.d−1. Influent water contained kaolinite, humic acid and suspension of coliforms and protozoa. Physical-chemical parameters were evaluated, as well as Escherichia coli, Giardia spp. cysts and Cryptosporidium spp. oocyst reductions. Removal was low (up to 6.6%) concerning true colour, total organic carbon and absorbance (λ = 254 nm). Nevertheless, HMSFs showed turbidity decrease above 60%, E. coli reduction up to 1.78 log, Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts reductions up to 3.15 log and 2.24 log, respectively. The non-woven blanket was shown as an important physical barrier to remove solids, E. coli and protozoa.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115816
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalWater Research
Issue numbern/a
Early online date19 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2020


  • Drinking water
  • Escherichia coli.
  • Low-cost technology
  • Protozoa
  • Slow sand filtration


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