Point-of-use interventions to decrease contamination of drinking water: a randomized, controlled pilot study on efficacy, effectiveness, and acceptability of closed containers, Moringa oleifera, and in-home chlorination in rural South India

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2010 May;82(5):759-65. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0206.


To assess water contamination and the relative effectiveness of three options for point-of-use water treatment in South India, we conducted a 6-month randomized, controlled intervention trial using chlorine, Moringa oleifera seeds, a closed valved container, and controls. One hundred twenty-six families participated. Approximately 70% of public drinking water sources had thermotolerant coliform counts > 100/100 mL. Neither M. oleifera seeds nor containers reduced coliform counts in water samples from participants' homes. Chlorine reduced thermotolerant coliform counts to potable levels, but was less acceptable to participants. Laboratory testing of M. oleifera seeds in water from the village confirmed the lack of reduction in coliform counts, in contrast to the improvement seen with Escherichia coli seeded distilled water. This discrepancy merits further study, as M. oleifera was effective in reducing coliform counts in other studies and compliance with Moringa use in this study was high.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chlorine / chemistry
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Data Collection
  • Enterobacteriaceae / growth & development
  • Halogenation*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Moringa oleifera* / chemistry
  • Pilot Projects
  • Public Health
  • Rural Population
  • Seeds* / chemistry
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Water Microbiology / standards*
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Water Supply / standards*


  • Chlorine