Assessment of the 20L SODIS bucket household water treatment technology under field conditions in rural Malawi

Steven Brockliss, Kondwani Luwe, Giuliana Fererro, Tracy Morse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Two billion people worldwide consume unsafe drinking water. The problem is particularly pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a quarter of the population relies on unimproved surface water sources. Based on the principles of solar water disinfection (SODIS), a new household water treatment technology, the SODIS bucket, was developed to improve the microbial quality of water from these sources based on controlled tests in a laboratory setting. This study set out to evaluate the efficacy of the technology in a field setting, in rural communities in the Chikwawa District in southern Malawi. SODIS experiments were carried out in two different vessels (1-L PET bottles and 20-L polypropylene SODIS buckets), over three months using unprotected water sources normally used by community members. Vessels were exposed to direct sunlight for 8 h per day in a village setting and were sampled at regular intervals to determine total coliforms, E. coli, turbidity, UV transmittance and UV dose. In these experiments, the SODIS bucket reached inactivation targets for E. coli (
Original languageEnglish
Article number113913
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Early online date28 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022


  • solar water disinfection
  • household water treatment
  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • safe drinking water
  • rural communities


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