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3rd International Rainwater Cistern Systems Conference
Khon Kaen, Thailand - January, 1987

Section F: Water Quality

Paper F.4

A Case History of Disinfection of Water in Rural Areas of Mexico

Michael C. R. Owen
Cheyne Owen Ltd.
Consulting Engineers
Tucson, Arizona

Charles P. Gerba
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Arizona
Tucson Arizona


Effective use rainwater as a source of water supply in rural and urban areas of the world, requires storage and containment in surface reservoirs, cisterns or tanks. While the purity of rainwater can be high when initially collected, especially in rural areas away from industrial air pollution, storage of water for long periods of time can subject this valuable resource to contamination from disease vectors, blowing dust and dirt, bacterial contamination from collection surfaces and direct contamination.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a case history of an alternative disinfection method whereby water storage vessels may be rendered virtually free of pathogenic and nuisance microorganisms for long periods of time, thus providing a reliable disinfected water supply

A silver based colloidal suspension of silver in a protein carrier has been used successfully throughout Mexico to disinfect rural, urban, and institutional water tanks for up to one year by coating the inside surfaces. When dry the coating becomes har, but slowly redisolves and disinfects the water over a long period of time. Recent laboratory research confirms the efficacy of this disinfection method.

PDF of full document (17pp, 440kb)

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