Treatment of drinking water at the point of use (POU) has demonstrated health benefits for people who have access only to microbially contaminated drinking water. In this work, the ceramic siphon POU water filter was evaluated for its ability to reduce indicator microorganisms in test waters. During batch challenge tests, the filter reduced Escherichia coli in filtered water by 7 log10 (99.999987%) and bacteriophage MS2 by 0.12 log10 (24.0%). Next, a novel continuous flow dosing system allowing sewage-amended feed water to constantly pass through the filters allowed for determination of changes in microbial reductions over time and total volume of water filtered. E. coli B, MS2 and fluorescent microspheres (as a surrogate for Cryptosporidium oocysts) were seeded into test water and dosed to filters at 10, 25 and 50% of the filter's volume lifespan. Microbial removal efficacy decreased as the volume of water filtered increased and test filters did not achieve their volume lifespan before physically failing. The ceramic siphon household water filter is effective in reducing E. coli and surrogates for Cryptosporidium in water, but filter modifications may be needed to achieve acceptable levels of virus removal and to reach the target 7,000 L volume lifespan of the filter.
Keywords: ceramic siphon water filter, diarrhoeal diseases, E. coli, MS2, point of use