Author(s): Bielefeldt AR, Kowalski K, Summers RS
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Laboratory experiments were conducted on six point-of-use (POU) ceramic water filters that were manufactured in Nicaragua; two filters were used by families for ca. 4 years and the other filters had limited prior use in our lab. Water spiked with ca. 10(6)CFU/mL of Escherichia coli was dosed to the filters. Initial disinfection efficiencies ranged from 3 - 4.5 log, but the treatment efficiency decreased with subsequent batches of spiked water. Silver concentrations in the effluent water ranged from 0.04 - 1.75 ppb. Subsequent experiments that utilized feed water without a bacterial spike yielded 10(3)-10(5)CFU/mL bacteria in the effluent. Immediately after recoating four of the filters with a colloidal silver solution, the effluent silver concentrations increased to 36 - 45 ppb and bacterial disinfection efficiencies were 3.8-4.5 log. The treatment effectiveness decreased to 0.2 - 2.5 log after loading multiple batches of highly contaminated water. In subsequent loading of clean water, the effluent water contained <20-41 CFU/mL in two of the filters. This indicates that the silver had some benefit to reducing bacterial contamination by the filter. In general these POU filters were found to be effective, but showed loss of effectiveness with time and indicated a release of microbes into subsequent volumes of water passed through the system.
This article was published in Water Res
and referenced in Hydrology: Current Research