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Review

Methods, Protocols, Guidance and Standards for Performance Evaluation for Point-of-Use Water Treatment Technologies: History, Current Status, Future Needs and Directions

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Julia Jones Matthews Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Abilene, TX 79601, USA
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Nikki Beetsch, Governmental, Non-Governmental and Uniformed Services, NSF International, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA
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Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30033, USA
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Product Safety & Quality Consultants, HAL III Stage, Bangalore 560075, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Regina Sommer and James A. Smith
Water 2021, 13(8), 1094; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081094
Received: 15 January 2021 / Accepted: 5 April 2021 / Published: 15 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Point-of-Use Water Treatment)
It is estimated that 780 million people do not have access to improved drinking water sources and approximately 2 billion people use fecally contaminated drinking water. Effective point-of-use water treatment systems (POU) can provide water with sufficiently reduced concentrations of pathogenic enteric microorganisms to not pose significant health risks to consumers. Household water treatment (HWT) systems utilize various technologies that physically remove and/or inactivate pathogens. A limited number of governmental and other institutional entities have developed testing protocols to evaluate the performance of POU water treatment systems. Such testing protocols are essential to documenting effective performance because inferior and ineffective POU treatment technologies are thought to be in widespread use. This critical review examines specific practices, procedures and specification of widely available POU system evaluation protocols. Testing protocols should provide standardized and detailed instructions yet be sufficiently flexible to deal with different treatment technologies, test microbe priorities and choices, testing facility capabilities and public health needs. Appropriate infectivity or culture assays should be used to quantify test enteric bacteria, viruses and protozoan parasites, or other appropriate surrogates or substitutes for them, although processes based on physical removal can be tested by methods that detect microbes as particles. Recommendations include further research of stock microbe production and handling methods to consistently yield test microbes in a realistic state of aggregation and, in the case of bacteria, appropriately physiologically stressed. Bacterial quantification methods should address the phenomenon of bacterial injury and repair in order to maximally recover those that are culturable and potentially infectious. It is only with harmonized national and international testing protocols and performance targets that independent and unbiased testing can be done to assure consumers that POU treatment technologies are able to produce water of high microbial quality and low health risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: point-of-use treatment (POU); household water treatment (HWT); drinking water; water disinfection; bacterial injury and repair; enteric bacteria; enteric viruses; protozoan parasites; microbial indicators; performance evaluation; testing protocols; removal; inactivation point-of-use treatment (POU); household water treatment (HWT); drinking water; water disinfection; bacterial injury and repair; enteric bacteria; enteric viruses; protozoan parasites; microbial indicators; performance evaluation; testing protocols; removal; inactivation
MDPI and ACS Style

Bailey, E.S.; Beetsch, N.; Wait, D.A.; Oza, H.H.; Ronnie, N.; Sobsey, M.D. Methods, Protocols, Guidance and Standards for Performance Evaluation for Point-of-Use Water Treatment Technologies: History, Current Status, Future Needs and Directions. Water 2021, 13, 1094. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081094

AMA Style

Bailey ES, Beetsch N, Wait DA, Oza HH, Ronnie N, Sobsey MD. Methods, Protocols, Guidance and Standards for Performance Evaluation for Point-of-Use Water Treatment Technologies: History, Current Status, Future Needs and Directions. Water. 2021; 13(8):1094. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081094

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bailey, Emily S.; Beetsch, Nikki; Wait, Douglas A.; Oza, Hemali H.; Ronnie, Nirmala; Sobsey, Mark D. 2021. "Methods, Protocols, Guidance and Standards for Performance Evaluation for Point-of-Use Water Treatment Technologies: History, Current Status, Future Needs and Directions" Water 13, no. 8: 1094. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081094

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