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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(10), 13602-13623; doi:10.3390/ijerph121013602

Evaluation of Membrane Ultrafiltration and Residual Chlorination as a Decentralized Water Treatment Strategy for Ten Rural Healthcare Facilities in Rwanda

1
The Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30324, USA
2
School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, The University of Oklahoma, 455 West Lindsey, Dale Hall Tower 521, Norman, OK 73019, USA
3
The Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Health Maternal and Child Health Unit
4
The Access Project Rwanda, P.O. Box 7393, Kigali, Rwanda
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nicholas Frederick Gray and Panagiotis Karanis
Received: 12 August 2015 / Revised: 7 October 2015 / Accepted: 13 October 2015 / Published: 27 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Microbial Pollution and Disinfection)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [971 KB, uploaded 28 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

There is a critical need for safe water in healthcare facilities (HCF) in low-income countries. HCF rely on water supplies that may require additional on-site treatment, and need sustainable technologies that can deliver sufficient quantities of water. Water treatment systems (WTS) that utilize ultrafiltration membranes for water treatment can be a useful technology in low-income countries, but studies have not systematically examined the feasibility of this technology in low-income settings. We monitored 22 months of operation of 10 WTS, including pre-filtration, membrane ultrafiltration, and chlorine residual disinfection that were donated to and operated by rural HCF in Rwanda. The systems were fully operational for 74% of the observation period. The most frequent reasons for interruption were water shortage (8%) and failure of the chlorination mechanism (7%). When systems were operational, 98% of water samples collected from the HCF taps met World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for microbiological water quality. Water quality deteriorated during treatment interruptions and when water was stored in containers. Sustained performance of the systems depended primarily on organizational factors: the ability of the HCF technician to perform routine servicing and repairs, and environmental factors: water and power availability and procurement of materials, including chlorine and replacement parts in Rwanda. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-income countries; chlorination; implementation; maintenance; membrane water treatment; operation; quality; sustainability; ultrafiltration low-income countries; chlorination; implementation; maintenance; membrane water treatment; operation; quality; sustainability; ultrafiltration
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Huttinger, A.; Dreibelbis, R.; Roha, K.; Ngabo, F.; Kayigamba, F.; Mfura, L.; Moe, C. Evaluation of Membrane Ultrafiltration and Residual Chlorination as a Decentralized Water Treatment Strategy for Ten Rural Healthcare Facilities in Rwanda. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 13602-13623.

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