A field based evaluation of household arsenic removal technologies for the treatment of drinking water

Environ Technol. 2002 Dec;23(12):1385-403. doi: 10.1080/09593332508618444.


Seven household treatment technologies for the removal of arsenic (Alcan, BUET, DPHE/DANIDA, Garnet, Sono, Stevens, Tetrahedron) were each evaluated using water from 63 different tube wells taken from 3 different regions of Bangladesh. The technologies that were evaluated were chosen from those that appeared user friendly, readily available and whose promoters were open to participate in the study. Arsenic concentrations in feed and treated waters were analysed by the PeCo 75 arsenic field test kit, AA-hydride generation and ICP-AES. Feed water arsenic concentrations were found to be up to 600 microg l(-1). The more advanced treatment methods using: activated alumina (Alcan, BUET); metallic iron (Sono); anionic exchange resin (Tetrahedron) and iron coagulation (Stevens) were found to be most easily used and efficiently reduced arsenic concentrations to below the Bangladesh drinking water standard (0.05 mg As l(-1)). The use of aluminium sulphate coagulants and permanganate oxidants in the DPHE/DANIDA technology introduced unacceptably high concentrations of aluminium and manganese into the treated waters and are not recommended in household water treatment applications. While arseric concentrations were initially considered to be of paramount importance, it became clear that such technologies can increase the risk of bacterial contamination in the treated water and this needs serious consideration as this could create a hazard much greater than the arsenic contained in the water. Ground waters sampled during the course of this study were mostly found to be bacteria free. To minimize any risks relating to bacterial contamination the addition of hypochlorite or the boiling of water is necessary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum Oxide / chemistry
  • Arsenic / isolation & purification*
  • Bangladesh
  • Household Products*
  • Humans
  • Ion Exchange Resins
  • Iron / chemistry
  • Public Health
  • Risk Assessment
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Water Supply*


  • Ion Exchange Resins
  • Iron
  • Aluminum Oxide
  • Arsenic