Water Resources Management

, Volume 33, Issue 13, pp 4539–4551 | Cite as

Effect of Radiation Intensity, Water Temperature and Support-Base Materials on the Inactivation Efficiency of Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS)

  • Ekene Jude Nwankwo
  • Jonah Chukwuemeka Agunwamba
  • Chidozie Charles NnajiEmail author


Solar water disinfection (SODIS) harnesses energy from the sun to kill pathogenic microorganism in drinking water, thus making it safe for consumption. The effects of local conditions and materials on the efficiency of SODIS were investigated in this study for a period of five months. Waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles with varying optical properties were used as SODIS reactors. Water samples from deep well, shallow well, rainfall and spring were used for the study. SODIS reactors were exposed to sunlight for a period of 8 h under varying conditions of temperature and solar radiation. The study revealed that solar radiation intensity of 500–650 W/m2 and water temperature of 45–55 °C, were effective in destroying pathogens. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) confirmed statistically significant difference (p < 0.000) in water temperature of the reactors and support base materials used. However, this did not translate to significant difference in microbial population after 8 h of exposure to sunlight. Over 3 Log reduction in faecal coliform was recorded at a temperature of 55.5 °C within 3 h of exposure. At temperatures below 45 °C, 3 log inactivation of bacteria was not attained even after 8 h of exposure to sunlight. Hence, SODIS can be employed to address the immediate water quality needs of the most disadvantaged communities of Nigeria.


Solar disinfection Water treatment Solar radiation Temperature Water 



The authors are grateful to the sanitary laboratory technologists at the National Centre for Energy Research and Development (NCERD), Nsukka for their technical assistance and advice. Special thanks go to Dr. A. C. Ofomatah for his guidance during the preparation and progress of the experiments.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest



  1. APHA (1998) Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th edn. American Public Health Association, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  2. Davies-Colley RJ, Craggs RJ, Park J, Sukias JPS, Nagels JW, Stott R (2005) Virus Removal in a Pilot-Scale ‘Advanced’pond System as Indicated by Somatic and F-RNA Bacteriophages. Water Sci Technol 51:107–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dessie A, Alemayehu E, Mekonen S, Legesse W, Kloos H, Ambelu A (2014) Solar Disinfection: an Approach for Low-Cost Household Water Treatment Technology in Southwestern Ethiopia. J Environ Heal Sci Eng 12:25. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Du Preez M, McGuigan KG, Conroy RM (2010) Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water in the Prevention of Dysentery in South African Children aged under 5 years: The role of participant motivation. Environ Sci Technol 44:8744–8749. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Feachem R, Mara DD, Bradley DJ (1983) Sanitation and Disease. John Wiley & Sons Washington DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  6. Gómez-Couso H, Fontán-Saínz M, Sichel C, Fernández-Ibáñez P, Ares-Mazás E (2009) Efficacy of the Solar Water Disinfection Method in Turbid Waters Experimentally Contaminated with Cryptosporidium Parvum Oocysts Under Real Field Conditions. Trop Med Int Heal 14:620–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. IFRC, 2008. Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage in Emergencies, Household Water Treatment and Safe StorageGoogle Scholar
  8. Kehoe SC, Joyce TM, Ibrahim P, Gillespie JB, Shahar RA, McGuigan KG (2001) Effect of Agitation, Turbidity, Aluminium Foil Reflectors and Container Volume on the Inactivation Efficiency of Batch-Process Solar Disinfectors. Water Res 35:1061–1065. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lamore Y, Beyene A, Fekadu S, Megersa M (2018) Solar Disinfection Potentials of Aqua Lens, Photovoltaic and Glass Bottle Subsequent to Plant-Based Coagulant: For Low-Cost Household Water Treatment Systems. Appl Water Sci 8:100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Leuenberger P, Ganscha S, Kahraman A, Cappelletti V, Boersema PJ, von Mering C, Claassen M, Picotti P (2017) Cell-Wide Analysis of Protein Thermal Unfolding Reveals Determinants of Thermostability. Science (80-. ) 355:eaai7825. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Luzi, S., Tobler, M., Suter, F., Meierhofer, R., 2016. SODIS Manual: Guidance on Solar Water DisinfectionGoogle Scholar
  12. Mani, S.K., 2006. Development and Evaluation of Small-Scale Systems For Solar Disinfection of Contaminated Drinking Water in IndiaGoogle Scholar
  13. Mani SK, Kanjur R, Bright Singh IS, Reed RH (2006) Comparative Effectiveness of Solar Disinfection Using Small-Scale Batch Reactors with Reflective, Absorptive and Transmissive Rear Surfaces. Water Res 40:721–727. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McGuigan KG, Joyce TM, Conroy RM, Gillespie JB, Elmore-Meegan M (1998) Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water Contained in Transparent Plastic Bottles: Characterizing the Bacterial Inactivation Process. J Appl Microbiol 84:1138–1148. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McGuigan KG, Samaiyar P, Du Preez M, Conroy RM (2011) High Compliance Randomized Controlled Field Trial of Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water and its Impact on Childhood Diarrhea in Rural Cambodia. Environ Sci Technol 45:7862–7867. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Meierhofer R, Landolt G (2009) Factors Supporting the Sustained use of Solar Water Disinfection—Experiences from a Global Promotion and Dissemination Programme. Desalination 248:144–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Meierhofer, R., Wegelin, M., 2002. Solar Water Disinfection: A Guide For Applications of SODIS, SandecGoogle Scholar
  18. Mustafa A, Scholz M, Khan S, Ghaffar A (2013) Application of Solar Disinfection for Treatment of Contaminated Public Water Supply in a Developing Country: Field Observations. J Water Health 11:135–145. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Reed RH (1997) Solar Inactivation of Faecal Bacteria in Water: The Critical Role of Oxygen. Lett Appl Microbiol 24:276–280. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Reed RH, Mani SK, Meyer V (2000) Solar Photo-Oxidative Disinfection of Drinking Water: Preliminary Field Observations. Lett Appl Microbiol 30:432–436. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Russell AD (2003) Lethal Effects of Heat on Bacterial Physiology and Structure. Sci Prog 86:115–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sinha RP, Häder DP (2002) UV-Induced DNA Damage and Repair: A Review. Photochem Photobiol Sci 1:225–236. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sommer B, Mariño A, Solarte Y, Salas ML, Dierolf C, Valiente C, Mora D, Rechsteiner R, Setter P, Wirojanagud W, Ajarmeh H, Al-Hassan A, Wegelin M (1997) SODIS - An Emerging Water Treatment Process. J Water Supply Res Technol - AQUA 46:127–137Google Scholar
  24. Teksoy A, Eleren SÇ (2017) Drinking Water Disinfection by Solar Radiation. Environ Ecol Res 5(5):400–408. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ugwuoke P, Okeke C (2012) Statistical Assessment of Average Global and Diffuse Solar Radiation on Horizontal Surfaces in Tropical Climate. Int J Renew Energy 2:269–273Google Scholar
  26. UNICEF, 2017. BRIEFING NOTE UNICEF support to water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector in Nigeria (since 2014)Google Scholar
  27. Vivar M, Fuentes M, Castro J, García-Pacheco R (2015) Effect of Common Rooftop Materials as Support Base for Solar Disinfection (SODIS) in Rural Areas Under Temperate Climates. Sol Energy 115:204–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wegelin M, Canonica S, Mechsner K, Fleischmann T, Pesaro F, Metzler A (1994) Solar Water Disinfection: Scope of the Process and Analysis of Radiation Experiments. Aqua J Water Supply Res Technol 43:154–169Google Scholar
  29. WHO (2007) Combating Waterborne Disease at the Household Level, International Network to Promote Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage. Switzerland, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  30. WHO (2017) Safely Managed Drinking Water - Thematic Report on Drinking Water 2017, World Health Organization. Switzerland, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  31. WHO; UN-Water (2014) UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water GLAAS 2014 Report. Organization, World HealthGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering and Built EnvironmentUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations