Community-Level Water Disinfection Technology for Dhaka, Bangladesh

EPA Grant Number: SU835313
Title: Community-Level Water Disinfection Technology for Dhaka, Bangladesh
Investigators: Davis, Jennifer , Diaz, Camil A. , Madan, Isaac A. , Cooke, Keegan G. , Bauza, Valerie J. , Crider, Yoshika S. , Pickering, Amy , Bennett, Kara
Current Investigators: Davis, Jennifer , Cooke, Keegan G. , Luby, Stephen P , Crider, Yoshika S. , Pickering, Amy , Marshman, Elizabeth , Mansouri, Nabil
Institution: Stanford University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2012 through August 14, 2013
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Residents of low-income urban areas in Dhaka, Bangladesh, do not have reliable access to safe drinking water. While many areas have piped water delivered to community standpipes, the water becomes contaminated as it travels through an unpressurized and permeable distribution network. Typical treatment approaches in such areas have focused either on city-level centralized facilities, which treat water prior to distribution, or on household-level point-of-use (POU) technologies used by consumers prior to consumption. However, these approaches are not currently viable for low-income areas of Dhaka due to the prohibitively high cost of implementing and properly maintaining a full-scale water treatment system and low acceptance of POU water disinfection products. Therefore, our objective is to develop an innovative technology to disinfect drinking water in Dhaka, Bangladesh, that is low cost, will require minimal behavior change, and is easily scalable.


We will develop a low-cost in-line chlorination device that will automatically disinfect drinking water at collection points without relying on electricity or moving parts. As a community-level treatment technology, the device will be designed to provide safe drinking water to approximately 10-50 households per installed chlorinator. Additionally, the technology will be designed to fit within the existing water infrastructure in Dhaka, such that it can easily be installed on existing community hand pumps or water tanks currently serving multi-family compounds in urban slums of Dhaka.

Expected Results:

Our design will be capable of providing reliable doses of chlorine at a wide range of flow conditions typical of urban water systems in developing countries. The developed technology will have low environmental impact, with zero carbon emissions during operation and no energy requirements, in contrast to energy intensive conventional full-scale water treatment facilities. The device will require very little behavior change by users, as it will be integrated into the existing water system, which is anticipated to increase user acceptability of our design and significantly increase coverage compared to household-level POU treatments. We will pilot-test our technology in low-income urban areas of Dhaka in collaboration with the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh. The results of our project will inform strategies for water quality management within future government, NGO, and donor-supported investments in Dhaka’s water sector, as well as water sectors in similar developing urban communities around the world.

Supplemental Keywords:

chlorination, water purification technologies

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report