Volume 99, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



This is the first study to document the reduction of turbidity and throughout the processes of full-scale gravity-fed drinking water plants (GFWTPs) and their downstream distribution systems in rural Honduras. The GFWTPs, which in these cases were designed by AguaClara, use standard treatment processes: coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, and chlorination. During the dry season, we measured , turbidity, and chlorine residual at five GFWTPs with < 1,000 connections and at three alternative piped-water systems in neighboring communities. Samples were evaluated from the raw water, settled water, filtered water, post-chlorination in the distribution tank, and at a distant-piped household connection. During the dry season, the treated water and household connections serviced by the GFWTPs met World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for (< 1 most probable number [MPN]/100 mL). Alternative plants with the same water sources had comparable or higher and turbidity measurements posttreatment. We examined the performance robustness of two GFWTPs during the transition into the rainy season. The turbidity of the filtered water met WHO recommendations (< 1 nephelometric turbidity units). was not detected in treated water, indicating that the two GFWTPs can consistently remove particulates and from source waters containing varying levels of turbidity. During two sampling events during the rainy season, was detected at the household connection of a GFWTP system with intermittent service and a substandard chlorine residual (geometric mean = 1.0 MPN/100 mL). Strategies to avoid contamination or inactivate in the distribution system are needed to ensure safe drinking water at the points of delivery, especially for systems with intermittent service.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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Supplemental information

  • Received : 19 Jul 2017
  • Accepted : 22 May 2018
  • Published online : 08 Aug 2018

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