Increasing acceptance of chlorination for household water treatment: observations from Bangladesh
Point-of-use water treatment, especially chlorination, is an effective intervention to reduce diarrhoea, a leading cause of death for children under five. Yet success in chlorination uptake has been limited. One obstacle is objection to treated water's taste/odour. Protective chlorine residuals that are not offensive to users require accurate dosing - a challenge in practice. Further, taste sensitivity may be different for populations never exposed to chlorinated water. Here, household chlorination trials in Bangladesh similarly revealed dissatisfaction with treated water due to taste and odour, although attempts to quantify chlorine sensitivity disputed the dissatisfaction at lower residuals. A granular activated carbon (GAC) filter fitted to the spigot of a covered tank removed the remaining chlorine residual prior to drinking and increased user satisfaction. Such a filter removes taste as a barrier and allows over-dosing contaminated water to ensure disinfection, with implications for areas with high source water variability and for emergency situations.
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