Effectiveness of solar disinfection (SODIS) in rural coastal Bangladesh

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Scarcity of drinking water in the coastal area of Bangladesh compels the inhabitants to be highly dependent on alternative water supply options like rainwater harvesting system (RWHS), pond sand filter (PSF), and rain-feed ponds. Susceptibility of these alternative water supply options to microbial contamination demands a low-cost water treatment technology. This study evaluates the effectiveness of solar disinfection (SODIS) to treat drinking water from available sources in the southwest coastal area of Bangladesh. A total of 50 households from Dacope upazila in Khulna district were selected to investigate the performance of SODIS. Data were collected in two rounds to examine fecal coliform (FC) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) contamination of drinking water at the household water storage containers and SODIS bottles, and thereby determined the effectiveness of SODIS in reducing fecal contamination. All water samples were analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity and salinity. SODIS significantly reduced FC and E. coli contamination under household conditions. The median health risk reduction by SODIS was more than 96 and 90% for pond and RWHS, respectively. Besides, turbidity of the treated water was found to be less than 5 NTU, except pond water. Only 34% of the participating households routinely adopted SODIS during the study.

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