Evaluation of the impact of the plastic BioSand filter on health and drinking water quality in rural Tamale, Ghana

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012 Oct 24;9(11):3806-23. doi: 10.3390/ijerph9113806.


A randomized controlled trial of the plastic BioSand filter (BSF) was performed in rural communities in Tamale (Ghana) to assess reductions in diarrheal disease and improvements in household drinking water quality. Few studies of household water filters have been performed in this region, where high drinking water turbidity can be a challenge for other household water treatment technologies. During the study, the longitudinal prevalence ratio for diarrhea comparing households that received the plastic BSF to households that did not receive it was 0.41 (95% confidence interval: 0.18, 0.92), suggesting an overall diarrheal disease reduction of 59% [corrected]. The plastic BSF achieved a geometric mean reduction of 97% and 67% for E. coli and turbidity, respectively. These results suggest the plastic BSF significantly improved drinking water quality and reduced diarrheal disease during the short trial in rural Tamale, Ghana. The results are similar to other trials of household drinking water treatment technologies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology*
  • Drinking Water*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Filtration / methods*
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plastics
  • Rural Population*
  • Water Quality*


  • Drinking Water
  • Plastics