Assessment of the impact of water parameters on the flow rate of ceramic pot filters in a long-term experiment
Poor water quality is a major contributing factor to disease in developing countries. Silver-coated ceramic pot filters (CPFs) are a relatively common form of household water treatment system (HWTS) representing an effective and sustainable technology for poor communities. Water production seems to be the major limiting factor of the CPF's lifetime and sustainability since low flow rates do not produce an adequate daily volume of treated water. This paper describes a long-term study of CPF flow rates under controlled conditions using three different water sources. The relationship between water characteristics and flow rate was assessed with the intent of identifying the principal parameters that impact CPF water production. The study concluded that turbidity seems to be the principal indicator in determining CPF lifetime in terms of quantity of treated water. There is no evidence that biological activity also contributes to premature failure of CPFs and the data did not indicate that chemical precipitation is responsible for the filter clogging. Manufacturers commonly conduct initial flow rate tests using clear water as a measure of quality assurance. However, the relationship between initial flow rate and average flow rate during the lifetime of the CPF should be further studied.