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March 22, 1995

Safe Water Treatment and Storage in the HomeA Practical New Strategy to Prevent Waterborne Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga (Drs Mintz and Tauxe), and Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC (Mr Reiff).

JAMA. 1995;273(12):948-953. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520360062040

In many parts of the developing world, drinking water is collected from unsafe surface sources outside the home and is then held in household storage vessels. Drinking water may be contaminated at the source or during storage; strategies to reduce waterborne disease transmission must safeguard against both events. We describe a two-component prevention strategy, which allows an individual to disinfect drinking water immediately after collection (point-of-use disinfection) and then to store the water in narrow-mouthed, closed vessels designed to prevent recontamination (safe storage). New disinfectant generators and better storage vessel designs make this strategy practical and inexpensive. This approach empowers households and communities that lack potable water to protect themselves against a variety of waterborne pathogens and has the potential to decrease the incidence of waterborne diarrheal disease.

(JAMA. 1995;273:948-953)