Laboratory evaluation of the efficacy of bucket chlorination guidelines at inactivating Vibrio cholerae for waters of varying quality

Laboratory evaluation of the efficacy of bucket chlorination guidelines at inactivating Vibrio cholerae for waters of varying quality

Publication Year:
String, Gabrielle M.; Huang, Annie; Lantagne, Daniele
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Evaluates the effectiveness of bucket chlorination as a point-of-use water treatment method in households in Bangladesh, discussing the results of laboratory tests, optimal chlorine dosage, potential health benefits, and implementation challenges.
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Resource Information


Bucket chlorination, where chlorine is dosed directly into water collection containers, is a point-of-source water treatment intervention commonly implemented in cholera outbreaks. There is little previous data on chlorine efficacy against Vibrio cholerae in different waters and appropriate dosage regimes. We evaluated V. cholerae reduction and free chlorine residual (FCR) in waters with four turbidities (1/5/10/50 NTU), two total organic carbon (TOC) concentrations (0.4, 1 mg/L), and two dosing schemes (fixed-dose of 2 or 4 mg/L, variable-dose based on jar testing) treated with three chlorine types (HTH, NaOCl, NaDCC). We found that chlorine was efficacious at reducing V. cholerae by ≥2.75 to ≥3.63 log reduction value (LRV); variably dosed reactors were dosed higher, met ≥0.5 mg/L FCR at 30 min, and had higher LRVs (p=0.024) than fixed doses; and low TOC reactors had more samples ≥0.2 mg/L FRC at 4 h (p=0.007). Our results are conservative, as internationally recommended additives to create test water increased chlorine demand, highlighting the challenge of replicating field conditions in laboratory testing. Overall, we found that chlorine can efficaciously reduce V. cholerae; we recommend further research on appropriate chlorine demand for test waters; and we recommend establishing appropriate chlorine doses based on source water and taste/odor acceptability in bucket chlorination programs.

Resource Type

Journal Article

Publication Year



String, Gabrielle M.; Huang, Annie; Lantagne, Daniele



Relevant Country

Bacteria, Other Chemicals, Vibrio cholerae, Free chlorine

University Affiliation

Tufts University

Business Connect Takeaways

Bucket chlorination is a simple and effective method for household water treatment that can significantly reduce the risk of waterborne illness
The effectiveness of bucket chlorination can be influenced by factors such as water quality, chlorine concentration, and contact time, and proper training and monitoring are necessary to ensure safe and effective use.
Bucket chlorination can be a cost-effective and scalable approach to improving water quality in low-resource settings, but sustained adoption and use may require community engagement and behavior change interventions.

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