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Point-of-use water treatment

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Water purification at the point of use (usually in the home) is a potential way to affordably improve the water quality and quality of life for the 1.1 billion people living in developing countries who do not have ready access to a safe water supply.

Water treatment (removal of impurities) and water purification (complete treatment as needed including disinfection, to ensure safety) is typically carried out in a large water treatment plant (WTP) which uses many processes inappropriate to the home scale. Activated sludge, upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors, aeration tanks and other components require monitoring and maintenance, appropriate for a centralized system but not for a decentralized system.

Cost may be more or less than centralized systems, depending on many factors.


By processing after distribution, point-of-use treatment avoids the possibility of contamination during distribution, e.g. through leaky pipes and below-atmospheric pressures in the pipes.[1]

Less reliance on government or corporate services, which may be unreliable or under-resourced.


Maintenance is less likely to be carried out, eliminating many otherwise promising technologies.


Cost comparison[edit]

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  1. E.g. in Indonesia it is very common to affix a pump to the water inlet. Standard "septic tanks" are not true septic tanks at all but have an earth floor, adding to groundwater contamination. Widespread use of pumps draws polluted groundwater into the pipes.

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