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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?
Pakistan

Project Partners

  • CDC
  • Agha Khan University
  • Procter and Gamble Company
  • HOPE

Target Populations/Location

  • Low-income families living in squatter settlements in Karachi

Project Design

  • Research project objectives:
    • Determine the impact of the SWS on diarrheal disease incidence
    • Determine which etiologic agents the SWS prevents Identify modifications necessary to adapt SWS to Pakistan’s context
    • Function as a demonstration project to use to attract funding for broader SWS intervention in the country.

Intervention Elements

  • Locally available, commercial sodium hypochlorite disinfectant
  • The CDC safe water storage vessel
  • Community organization
  • Health education

Project Implementation Date

  • October 1997

Results of Project Evaluation

  • An inexpensive home-based water storage and decontamination system to improve drinking water quality in a low-income neighborhood of Karachi was pilot tested. Forty-seven households received a 20-liter plastic water storage vessel with a narrow neck, lid, and high-quality spout to prevent recontamination and a regular supply of diluted hypochlorite solution in 10 ml single-use bottles. Household members were instructed to fill the vessel with water, add one bottle of dilute hypochlorite, and use the water for drinking. Twenty-fivecontrol households were recruited. Water samples were evaluated at baseline and in unannounced follow-up visits 1,3, 6 and 10 weeks later. Baseline drinking water samples among households who received the vessel were contaminated with a mean 9397 cfu/100 ml of thermotolerant coliforms compared with a mean 10,990 cfu/100 ml among controls. After intervention there was a mean 99.8% reduction in concentration of thermotolerant coliforms in drinking water samples among the vessel households, compared with an 8% reduction in controls. All 47 households who received the vessel reported liking it. In a highly contaminated environment, a specifically designed water storage container and in-home water chlorination was acceptable to the community and markedly improved water quality.
  • A study currently in the field is evaluating the effect of the SWS on diarrhea incidence.

For More Information

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Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch




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