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.
Advantages[edit | edit source]
Less reliance on government or corporate services, which may be unreliable or under-resourced.
Disadvantages[edit | edit source]
Maintenance is less likely to be carried out, eliminating many otherwise promising technologies.
Examples[edit | edit source]
- Biosand filter
- Solar water disinfection
- Home slow sand filters
- Pot Filters (Ceramic Water Filters)
Cost comparison[edit | edit source]
Mass production is an advantage to devices such as the LifeStraw.[expansion needed]
Ceramic Pot filters use locally available materials and labor, and are one of the cheapest technologies available.[expansion needed]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- 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.