An assessment of existing common traditional methods of water purification

  • T. Idika N. Odugbemi
  • F. T Ogunsola


Classical water purification methods include boiling, filtration, irradiation and the use of chemicals while traditional water purification methods in use are boiling, filtration, sedimentation, long storage and solar radiation. Waterborne diseases are m ore common in the rural communities where potable water supply coverage is usually low. Therefore, this study was designed to assess and modify existing water purification methods in use in the rural communities so as to encourage their regular use. Water samples collected from various sources serving six rural communities in Agege, Epe and Ikorodu Local Government areas of Lagos State were purified using each of the traditional methods. Viable counts were carried out on each of the water samples before and after the purification process. Water samples contamination with known pathogens were also included in the test. The boiling method was the most efficient giving 100% decontamination after three minutes of continuous boiling. The solar method gave varying degrees of decontamination of the water samples (42-100%) depending on the turbidity of the water and the type of container used for the test. The long storage method and the cloth filtration methods decontaminated the water by (0.6-4.2%) and 41% respectively. The solar water purification method should be encouraged. Turbid water samples should be cloth filtered prior to exposure to the sun for maximum efficiency.

(Af. J. of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology: 2002 3(1): 41-44)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1595-689X