Volume 69, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We conducted a study to determine if use of a new flocculant-disinfectant home water treatment reduced diarrhea. We randomly assigned 492 rural Guatemalan households to five different water treatment groups: flocculant-disinfectant, flocculant-disinfectant plus a customized vessel, bleach, bleach plus a vessel, and control. During one year of observation, residents of control households had 4.31 episodes of diarrhea per 100 person-weeks, whereas the incidence of diarrhea was 24% lower among residents of households receiving flocculant-disinfectant, 29% lower among those receiving flocculant-disinfectant plus vessel, 25% lower among those receiving bleach, and 12% lower among households receiving bleach plus vessel. In unannounced evaluations of home drinking water, free chlorine was detected in samples from 27% of flocculant-disinfectant households, 35% of flocculant-disinfectant plus vessel households, 35% of bleach households, and 43% of bleach plus vessel households. In a setting where diarrhea was a leading cause of death, intermittent use of home water treatment with flocculant-disinfectant decreased the incidence of diarrhea.


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  • Received : 16 May 2003
  • Accepted : 05 Jul 2003
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