4 Cost-Effective Water Treatment Methods

Access to clean water is important for life’s sustenance. Crucial at home, it’s a resource that’s also critical for commercial applications. Unfortunately, many people still rely on water from rainwater, wells, and springs. They can only enjoy the water after treating it, either through conventional processes or complex methods.

Using sophisticated equipment to treat water is okay, but the process does not have to be expensive. Many commercial water treatment systems are based on simple processes, yet the results are astounding. If you haven’t had access to modern water infrastructure yet, there are always options that are still widely applicable in many parts of the world.

A good example is boiling water, although this method presents ventilation and deforestation challenges. Several other low-cost water treatment methods exist, and they do not have to involve boiling. Let us look at some examples.

Solar Sterilisation

If you are more worried about the cost of the water treatment system than convenience or time, then leaving the water in sunlight is also an option. Clear bottles are the most applicable in this case, as they allow the sunrays to eliminate microbes in the water.

This method was widely used in Haiti following an earthquake in 2010. It is one of the most preferred water treatment methods during periods of impoverishment or emergencies across the globe. As the amount of solar irradiation varies with region, there is not a standard exposure period. The arrival of disinfection indicator technology has helped remove a lot of guesswork from the process.

Slow Sand Filtration

Man double checking

The advantage of this method is it can be applied on a large scale to add to its applicability at a household level. The slow sand filtration system comprises several components, such as an aerator, water storage tanks, slow sand filters, and disinfection. Filter types and number can be as many as possible, as this factor depends on the source water quality.

Solar Distillation

This is different from solar disinfection since it can purify undrinkable water through condensation and evaporation methods. Its real uniqueness is the ability to transform salty water. As for the complexity of this technology, there is a lot of flexibility. While there are sophisticated solar distillation devices, you can still use it in the form of a simple, inexpensive system — otherwise called a solar still.


Solids and turbidity in water can be reduced through this method. A sedimentation tank is capable of reducing water velocity to allow the settling of solids by gravity.

Choosing one is based on either experience treating similar water or settlement tests. In the absence of the coagulation process, sedimentation will only get rid of heavy and large particles. Covering the tank is essential, as contamination may occur. It is also advisable to clean the tank annually because performance may deteriorate due to dirt.

Choosing any of these water treatment systems will depend on your situation. To make the best choice, it’s best to understand the chemical, physical, and biological composition of water. Selecting an appropriate system will be easier after that. Remember that no size fits all, so you have to consider the pros and cons of each solution.

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