Small-scale and household methods to remove arsenic from water for drinking purposes in Latin America

Sci Total Environ. 2012 Jul 1;429:107-22. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.05.004.


Small-scale and household low-cost technologies to provide water free of arsenic for drinking purposes, suitable for isolated rural and periurban areas not connected to water networks in Latin America are described. Some of them are merely adaptation of conventional technologies already used at large and medium scale, but others are environmentally friendly emerging procedures that use local materials and resources of the affected zone. The technologies require simple and low-cost equipment that can be easily handled and maintained by the local population. The methods are based on the following processes: combination of coagulation/flocculation with adsorption, adsorption with geological and other low-cost natural materials, electrochemical technologies, biological methods including phytoremediation, use of zerovalent iron and photochemical processes. Examples of relevant research studies and developments in the region are given. In some cases, processes have been tested only at the laboratory level and there is not enough information about the costs. However, it is considered that the presented technologies constitute potential alternatives for arsenic removal in isolated rural and periurban localities of Latin America. Generation, handling and adequate disposal of residues should be taken into account in all cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / isolation & purification*
  • Electrochemical Techniques
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation
  • Latin America
  • Photochemical Processes
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / isolation & purification*
  • Water Supply / analysis*


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Arsenic