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What is the Safe Water System (SWS)?
Why was the SWS developed?
Who is the SWS for?
Where has the Safe Water System (SWS) been used?
How is a SWS started?

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Where has the Safe Water System been used?

Project Partners

  • PAHO
  • National Subsecretariat of Tropical Medicine of the Ministry of Public Health
  • Provincial Directorates of Health
  • Health Area Offices
  • Subsecretariat of Environmental Sanitation of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing
  • Embassy of the Netherlands

Target Populations/Location

  • Populations affected by the El Nino phenomenon in Guayas, El Oro, Los Rios, Manabi, and Galapagos Provinces


Project Design

  • Implementation of a community-based project utilizing hypochlorite generators already existing, but underutilized, in project communities

Intervention Elements

  • Sodium hypochlorite solution produced locally using appropriate technology
  • Locally-produced, 20-liter plastic containers with spigots
  • Community education



Project Start Date

  • January 1998

Results of Project Evaluations

  • 24 hypochlorite production centers were established in 5 provinces
  • A network of production and distribution of sodium hypochlorite was created with approximately 210 distribution centers in Ministry of Health facilities or houses of health promoters or community health volunteers
  • Approximately 200,000 persons have benefited from the project
  • In more than 50% of project households, water quality improved, with no detectable colonies of fecal coliforms in stored water
  • The project has been incorporated into regular activities of the Provincial Health Directorates
  • The project has also been incorporated into a newly created National Program of Water Disinfection at the Household Level

For More Information




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Infectious Diseases
Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases
Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch

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