Sustained use of a household-scale water filtration device in rural Cambodia

Sustained use of a household-scale water filtration device in rural Cambodia

Publication Year:
Brown, Joe; Proum, S.; Sobsey, M. D.
Resource Type:
Journal Article
The article describes a study on the sustained use of a household-scale water treatment and storage system in a rural community in Cambodia.
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Resource Information


The effectiveness of point-of-use water treatment may be limited by declining use over time, particularly when water treatment is introduced via targeted intervention programmes. In order to evaluate the long-term uptake and use of locally produced ceramic water filters in rural Cambodia, we visited households that had received filters as part of NGO-subsidized distribution programmes over a 4 year period from 2002 to 2006. Of the more than 2,000 filters distributed, we visited 506 randomly selected households in 13 villages spanning three provinces to assess filter time in use and to collect data on factors potentially correlated with long-term use. Results indicate that filter use declined at the rate of approximately 2% per month after implementation, largely owing to breakages, and that, controlling for time since implementation, continued filter use over time was most closely positively associated with: related water, sanitation and hygiene practices in the home; cash investment in the technology by the household; and use of surface water as a primary drinking water source.

Resource Type

Journal Article

Publication Year



Brown, Joe; Proum, S.; Sobsey, M. D.



Relevant Country


Specific Solutions

Potters for Peace

University Affiliation

University of Alabama, University of North Carolina, Royal University of Phnom Penh

Business Connect Takeaways

The use of household-scale water filtration devices can be an effective way to improve access to safe drinking water in rural areas of Cambodia, where waterborne illnesses are a major public health concern
The study found that the use of a ceramic water filter was associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of diarrhea among study participants, particularly in households that used the filter consistently
The success of sustained use of household-scale water filtration devices depends on a variety of factors, including user acceptance, maintenance and repair, and ongoing support from local organizations and government agencies

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