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Household Water Treatment: Health Significance and Risk-Based Approaches for Consumer Safety

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Abstract

Providing access to safe drinking water has been one of the significant challenges for progress on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Recent estimates show that about three billion people may be accessing unsafe water. There is good evidence that Household Water Treatment Systems (HWTS) that control microbial pathogens have the potential to reduce infectious disease burden, including those from water sources delivered via a piped network or other improved sources. While very simple interventions have shown reduction of disease burden, from the consumer point of view there is a need to develop science-based standards so that consumers access propositions that offer comprehensive health protection. Ideally, these standards should be based on locally relevant performance specifications, using local data in relation to the main classes of waterborne pathogens. The chapter examines issues around microbiological water contamination, including those derived from improved sources, and approaches used to control waterborne pathogens and discusses developments in the area of risk-based standards for HWTS. Further recommendations for ensuring safety of households adopting microbiological HWTS are made.

Keywords

  • Household Water Treatment Systems, HWTS
  • Microbiological risk assessment
  • Performance targets
  • Point-of-use water treatment systems

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Acknowledgements

Contributions from SEAC colleagues, particularly Moira Johnston, Denis Kan-King-Yu and Niteen Sawant, towards development of risk-based opinion for HWTS formed the basis of this chapter and are greatly acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Nirmala Ronnie .

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Ronnie, N., McClure, P., Shah, N. (2017). Household Water Treatment: Health Significance and Risk-Based Approaches for Consumer Safety. In: Nath, K., Sharma, V. (eds) Water and Sanitation in the New Millennium. Springer, New Delhi. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-81-322-3745-7_6

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