Assessment of low-cost, non-electrically powered chlorination devices for gravity-driven membrane water kiosks in eastern Uganda
Recontamination during transport and storage is a common challenge of water supply in low-income settings, especially if water is collected manually. Chlorination is a strategy to reduce recontamination. We assessed seven low-cost, non-electrically powered chlorination devices in gravity-driven membrane filtration (GDM) kiosks in eastern Uganda: one floater, two in-line dosers, three end-line dosers (tap-attached), and one manual dispenser. The evaluation criteria were dosing consistency, user-friendliness, ease of maintenance, local supply chain, and cost. Achieving an adequate chlorine dosage (∼2 mg/L at the tap and ≥ 0.2 mg/L after 24 h of storage in a container) was challenging. The T-chlorinator was the most promising option for GDM kiosks: it achieved correct dosage (CD, 1.5–2.5 mg/L) with a probability of 90 per cent, was easy to use and maintain, economical, and can be made from locally available materials. The other in-line option, the chlorine-dosing bucket (40 per cent CD) still needs design improvements. The end-line options AkvoTur (67 per cent CD) and AquatabsFlo® (57 per cent CD) are easy to install and operate at the tap, but can be easily damaged in the GDM set-up. The Venturi doser (52 per cent CD) did not perform satisfactorily with flow rates > 6 L/min. The chlorine dispenser (52 per cent CD) was robust and user-friendly, but can only be recommended if users comply with chlorinating the water themselves. Establishing a sustainable supply chain for chlorine products was challenging. Where solid chlorine tablets were locally rarely available, the costs of liquid chlorine options were high (27–162 per cent of the water price).