Ceramic pot filters lifetime study in coastal Guatemala

J Water Health. 2017 Feb;15(1):145-154. doi: 10.2166/wh.2016.082.


Ceramic pot filters (CPFs) are an effective means of household water treatment, but the characterization of CPF lifetimes is ongoing. This paper describes a lifetime field study in Guatemala which was made possible by a collaboration between researchers, CPF-using households, and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Disinfection data were collected periodically for two years using field coliform enumeration kits as were flow rate data with the assistance of NGO staff. Consumer acceptance was characterized by surveying householders in the four subject villages at the beginning and end of the study. Flow rate data showed that average CPF flow rates decreased below the recommended minimum of 1 L h-1 after 10 months of use; however, the survey results indicated that the consumers were tolerant of the lower flow rates, and it is reasonable to assume that the daily volume of treated water can be readily increased by refilling the CPFs more frequently. Of greater concern was the finding that disinfection efficacy decreased below the recommended bacterial reduction after 14 months of use because it would not be obvious to users that effectiveness had declined. Finally, the follow-up visits by the researchers and the NGO staff appeared to increase consumer acceptance of the CPFs.

MeSH terms

  • Ceramics / analysis*
  • Disinfection / instrumentation
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Drinking Water / analysis*
  • Filtration / instrumentation
  • Filtration / methods*
  • Guatemala
  • Water Purification / instrumentation
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • Drinking Water