OVER 2 BILLION PEOPLE LACK ACCESS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER. CONTAMINATED WATER CLAIMS THE LIVES OF MORE THAN 1,000 CHILDREN EVERY DAY.
A next-generation safe water solution for communal piped water sources
Our in-line chlorination program was incubated in Evidence Action’s Accelerator and builds on our highly successful Dispensers for Safe Water program. By automatically treating communal piped water systems, this innovation has the potential to dramatically expand the number of people we can reach with lifesaving access to safe drinking water.
In-line chlorination can consistently deliver chlorine into untreated piped water systems through devices installed into a section of pipe near where the user collects water. The water is then automatically chlorinated as it passes through the durable devices, which do not require electricity and have no moving parts. Users receive safe, ready-to-drink water without the need to remember to treat their water or to determine the proper dose of chlorine.
Scaling a new tool in our water treatment toolbox
We’re scaling up a new approach that has the potential to dramatically expand the populations we can cost-effectively reach with safe water.
A pilot of our delivery model, with devices installed on piped water systems across three counties in western Kenya, leveraged existing Dispensers for Safe Water infrastructure to implement in-line chlorination.
The Innovation Journey
We tested six different devices on a water point in our engineering workshop in Nairobi. Devices were assessed on metrics such as durability, ease of installation and refilling, ability to adjust chlorine dose, and consistency of dosing. From there, two devices were selected.
Water point identification
Looking at criteria such as compatibility, accessibility, and functionality, we surveyed 2,500 water points across Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi. At each water point, we documented existing infrastructure, tested water samples for pre-existing chlorine, and engaged with local stakeholders.
We conducted a pilot in western Kenya, at 67 water points covering 13,000 people. The pilot showed a significant increase in the presence of chlorine in household drinking water: chlorine was detected in water samples at 88% of collection points and 78% of household samples.
Given the strength of these results, we’re launching in-line chlorination in Malawi. The next few years will see us scaling up the program, rigorously monitoring performance, and continuously iterating toward optimal delivery.
Driving a learning agenda
In tandem with expansion, we continue to focus on Evidence Action’s value of iteration – experimenting to improve efficiency and tackle unknown challenges as we move to scale. Our learning agenda focuses on improving all aspects of the delivery model from community engagement, to device installation, to follow-up and maintenance. This requires the ability to quickly address challenges and continuously optimize structures to best address the needs of communities.