On 03 July 2012, WaterSHED’s Lab Supervisor, Chai Ratana, presented findings from an evaluation of microbiological effectiveness of Mineral Pot Filters (MPFs) during a monthly Water & Sanitation sector meeting at the Cambodian Ministry of Rural Development.
MPFs are widely used in Cambodia, yet until recently their performance and effectiveness had never been systematically and scientifically tested.
Guided by Dr. Joe Brown (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Mr. Ratana and his team sampled three popular brands of MPFs available in the local market to test their effectiveness in purifying drinking water using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Environmental Technology Verification testing protocols.
The purposes of the evaluation were to test MPFs’ ability to remove microbes from water over long-term use, to serve as an initial assessment of their current and future potential role as water treatment devices, and to demonstrate and pilot the capacity of WaterSHED’s laboratory for microbiological testing according to the new WHO testing recommendations. The MPFs were tested for their effectiveness against microbiological elements; however, they were not tested for chemicals or the toxicity of mineral stone elements.
The results showed that the three filter brands were as effective or more effective than other locally available drinking water treatment options, including ceramic filters. However, although the three MPFs were shown to consistently provide microbiologically safer water, only one filter met WHO recommended performance levels for “protective” levels, but not across all potential water sources.
WaterSHED-Cambodia is currently an active contributor/member of the WatSan Sector Group of Cambodia, a network led by the Ministry of Rural Development, that holds monthly meetings to bring together all organizations working on water and/or sanitation to share and discuss experiences and lessons learned in the sector.