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The Power of HWTS and WSPs for Safe Water

The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) provides an important technical brief on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS) and Water Safety Plans (WSPs). The brief describes how the two approaches are mutually beneficial. Together, they address the entire drinking water cycle: source water protection, safe water transportation, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection and safe water storage.

Naomi Mahaffy, International Education & Training Advisor at CAWST, provides some context for the two approaches:

HWTS gives individual families control over their water quality. HWTS implementers and users sometimes focus on a single technology without considering other measures to keep water safe from source to sip. WSPs give communities a more holistic means of assessing and addressing risks of contamination in their water supply systems. WSP implementers sometimes focus exclusively on community-level infrastructure, without considering household practices. Considering both household and community-level risks and interventions could make your HWTS or WSP implementation more effective – definitely a win-win.

Water safety planning is a preventative, risk-based approach to improving the safety of drinking water. The goal of creating a water safety plan (WSP) is to protect households from contaminants that could get into their water at any point from the catchment to consumer.

In the WSP approach, team members prioritize and implement barriers (control measures) to keep drinking water safe from pathogens. These barriers sometimes include household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) practices. HWTS is a general term for activities people do in their homes to treat and safely store their drinking water.

At MadiDrop PBC, we support CAWST’s multi-barrier and multi-plan approach to achieving safe water and safe storage.

The MadiDrop, or M-Drop, is particularly effective at providing disinfection after water has been allowed to settle and has been filtered to remove small particles, often referred to as the ‘multi-barrier’ approach. It works extremely well with other treatment approaches, such as biosand filters, and is the simplest way to provide on-going protection to keep water safely stored. And, like CAWST, we strongly advocate for safe hygiene practices to ensure the highest likelihood that treated water remains free of contamination. Together with NGOs and other service-oriented organizations, we work to educate and empower communities to take control of their household water systems.

Read the entire technical brief for additional information about how HWTS and WSPs should be used together to achieve both community-level and household-level barriers to drinking water risks.