Ceramic filters tested for removal of bacteria from water

Simple ceramic filters that are produced locally are an inexpensive way to purify water into drinking water for households in developing countries. It is of course important that the filtered water is microbiologically safe. To investigate this, we tested three ceramic water filters that are produced locally in Malawi. We performed this work for Hans Kasbergen of the Smart Center Group , who has been active in Malawi for years.

For the test we used WWTP effluent because we are sure that it contains a lot of bacteria and E. coli . Every day for three days, we tested the raw and purified water for the number of E. coli bacteria and the total number of bacteria with our ORVI detect qPCR.

The purified water clearly has a different color and less suspended matter than the raw water (see photo). The results also showed that the filters> Remove 99.6% of the number of E. coli bacteria, but only 30-74% of the total number of bacteria (see graph). Further research should clarify whether the bacteria still present in the purified water pose a potential risk or whether the water is safe to drink in all cases.

Contact Thommy Verschuuren for more information.

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