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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

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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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