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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


TORRES-PARRA, Camilo A. et al. Safe water for rural communities from an alternative filtration system. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.4, pp.453-459. ISSN 0124-0064.


Propose a prototype system for safe water treatment in Colombian rural areas.

Materials and Methods

The prototype consists of four chambers working on a water -clarification process using alum stone, also working on a filtration processes using granular materials such as different grain sizes of sand, pumice stone, activated carbon and gravel. The water problem was emulated based on the average water features found in the countryside and its monitoring mechanism tracked the current regulations in Colombia.


There was a reduction of the fecal and total coliform of the 99.9 %, a reduction of the 98 % of turbidity, and of an 83 % of color. In all the cases, the records obtained enable to catalog the treated water as fit for human consumption. The pH, presented a slight increment due to the presence of pumice and other limestone in the filter material, but the measured value was included under the upper limit accepted for potable water.


The treatment (purification) system evaluated in this study produced suitable water for human consumption obtained from countryside average water. The proposed technology is easy for adoption and diffusion and contributes to prevent water-borne diseases in areas without water systems.

Keywords : Drinking water; water purification; rural development; (source: MeSH, NLM).

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