Volume 82, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



For populations without reliable access to safe drinking water, household water treatment (HWT) provides a means of improving water quality and preventing disease. We extracted data on reported HWT practices from 67 national surveys and reports on the scope of HWT. An estimated 33.0% of the households (1.1 billion people) in these countries report treating their drinking water at home. The practice is widespread in the Western Pacific (66.8%) and Southeast Asia (45.4%) regions, and it is less common in the Eastern Mediterranean (13.6%) and Africa (18.2%). Boiling is the most dominant method with 21.0% of the study households (598 million people) using the method. Despite being at higher risk of waterborne disease because of lower coverage of improved water sources, African and rural households are less likely to practice HWT or use microbiologically adequate methods. Validation of the household surveys and further analysis of these data could help optimize HWT practices.


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  • Received : 06 Jul 2009
  • Accepted : 26 Oct 2009
  • Published online : 05 Feb 2010

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