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SeriesOxfam Technical Briefing Notes
Document typeTechnical briefing
Historically, interventions to provide people with safe water have focussed on improving water sources. However there is now a consensus among the WatSan community that even if the drinking water source is safe it can easily be re-contaminated during its transportation and storage in the household (Clasen and Bastable, 2003). A safe water intervention should therefore begin with an improved water supply and be followed by safe water collection, handling and storage. In circumstances where the source is not deemed safe, point of use water treatment should be performed. All of these should be coupled with hygiene promotion activities to ensure correct understanding, use and maintenance of the hardware. This technical brief presents the current options for safe storage and point of use water treatment. It is intended to help field staff working in a variety of locations to decide upon the most appropriate course of action for providing safe water for the communities in which they work. The effectiveness of household water treatment options now and in the future rely to a huge extent on user compliance; it is critical that users are involved in the decision making process, and are aware of the purpose, how to use, maintain and manage their household water options. The brief therefore details relevant hygiene promotion steps for the different treatment options.