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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004 Jun;70(6):651-7.

Reducing diarrhea through the use of household-based ceramic water filters: a randomized, controlled trial in rural Bolivia.

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Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


Ceramic water filters have been identified as one of the most promising and accessible technologies for treating water at the household level. In a six-month trial, water filters were distributed randomly to half of the 50 participating households in a rural community in Bolivia; the remaining households continued to use customary water handling practices and served as controls. In four rounds of sampling following distribution of the filters, 100% of the 96 water samples from the filter households were free of thermotolerant coliforms compared with 15.5% of the control household samples. Diarrheal disease risk for individuals in intervention households was 70% lower than for controls (95% confidence interval [CI] = 53-80%; P < 0.001). For children less than five years old, the reduction in risk was 83% (95% CI = 51-94%; P < 0.001). These results show that affordable ceramic water filters enable low-income households to treat and maintain the microbiologic quality of their drinking water.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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