A compact point-of-use water purification cartridge for household use in developing countries

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Simple, low-cost household interventions are known to be effective in lowering the incidence of waterborne diseases in developing countries. However, high costs along with operational and maintenance issues have prevented the successful adoption of these interventions among the affected communities. To address these limitations, a cost-effective, gravity-driven water purification cartridge has been developed by employing the synergistic disinfection action of low concentrations of silver and chlorine on bacteria and viruses. The silver and chlorine treatment components within the cartridge have been developed using inexpensive materials and integrated with a life indicator and auto-shut-off-mechanism within a compact form factor. The antibacterial as well as antiviral performance of the cartridge was tested by using ground water spiked with Escherichia coli and MS2 bacteriophage. The results show that, although individually, the silver and chlorine treatment systems were unable to inactivate the test strains, the integrated cartridge inactivates both bacteria as well as viruses up to the log reduction requirement of the USEPA guide standard for microbiological water purifiers over its designated life of 2,000 liters.

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