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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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Who is the Safe Water System for?

The Safe Water System was designed for populations that must obtain their water from the following sources:

  • Surface water sources such as rivers or lakes.
  • Shallow groundwater that is potentially contaminated, particularly open shallow wells.
  • Piped systems in which the water is inadequately treated or flow is intermittent, allowing contamination through leaks where pipes are connected.
  • Piped water systems in which intermittent flow requires households to store water.
  • Water tankers.
  • Water vendors whose source of water is not safe or whose tanker or storage tank is not likely to be clean.

Other potential target populations are those that exhibit poor hygienic behaviors in the collection and storage of water. Such behaviors would include not cleaning containers before filling them with water and using wide-mouth containers to collect and store water. Disinfection is not always necessary in these cases (e.g., if the source water is safe) but the practice of disinfection ensures safe water and supports the essential improvements in behavior including the use of a safe storage container.





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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