14.3.2  Cloth filtration

Cloth filtration
Figure 14.2  Cloth filtration. (Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 2008, Household water treatment and safe storage in emergencies)

Cloth filtration is a common water treatment technique that is easy to use and inexpensive (Figure 14.2). Cloth filtration can be very effective against cholera, guinea worm (dracunculiasis) and other disease-causing agents. By following the procedures and practice yourself, you can demonstrate this for communities you are working with. The steps in cloth filtration are:

  • Use a large cloth, preferably made of finely-woven cotton. The cloth must be big enough to easily cover the opening of the container once it has been folded.
  • Fold the cloth at least four times so there are multiple layers of fabric and place this over the opening of the storage vessel.
  • Fasten the cloth securely around the rim of the opening and tighten the string. If reusing the cloth, always use the same side up each time.
  • Filter all water immediately at source as it is being collected.
  • Always keep filtered water separated from non-filtered water.
  • Rinse the filter cloth after each use, with a final rinse using cloth-filtered water, and then leave the cloth in the sun until it is dry.
  • Clean the cloth regularly using soap and replace it as soon as there are any visible tears or holes.

14.3.1  Household sand filter

14.3.3  Other filtration methods