Household water treatment can be useful in situations where a water source is contaminated and centralised / bulk water treatment is not practical. This could be the case when people are displaced in small groups and access is difficult, or where people in a rural area remain in their houses but the regular water supply has been disrupted and there is surface water available.
Various products and methods are available for household water treatment. Any household water treatment programme should include hygiene promotion activities to ensure correct understanding, use and maintenance of the hardware.
The following document explains Oxfam's overall approach to household water filters.
Oxfam's approach to Emergency Household water filters
This technical brief presents the current options for safe storage and point of use water treatment.
Oxfam Technical Brief 4: Household Water Treatment Storage
This short briefing paper is aimed at hygiene promoters and engineers who are working with communities on household water treatment, and gives advice on how to communiate with communities about the use and maintenance of household water treatment solutions.
Oxfam Briefing Paper: Hygiene Promotion for Household Water Treatment and Storage in Emergencies
The Lifesaver Cube is a household water filter developed in collaboration with Oxfam. This report summaries lessons learned from their use in South Sudan.
Lifesaver Cube: Oxfam's Experience in South Sudan
- In camp settings the focus of water treatment should be on bulk chlorination.
- Alternative HHWT options, such as household-level chlorination (liquid chlorine or tablets), combined floc/disinfectant sachets, ceramic pots or candles, bios and filters, solar disinfection (SODIS) and boiling are generally more appropriate for non-camp settings (including slow-onset emergencies and when people are still in their homes). Factors influencing the decision as to which approach to implement include existing local practice, reliability of supplies, and local availability of spares / consumables.
- Information and follow up must always be provided when introducing HHWT to ensure that products are used effectively and safely
- All water treatment options are limited in their potential to protect health if the affected communities do not practice safe methods of collection, transportation and household storage of water. Such risks must be addressed in the response e.g. through NFI distributions, regular cleaning of containers and ongoing public health promotion.