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POC: Point of Collection Water Treatment

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“The study demonstrated that this simple, electricity-independent technology could be transformative in scaling up water treatment in slums and reducing child diarrhea, without requiring people to do anything differently when they collect their drinking water,” said study lead author Amy Pickering, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Tufts University who received her PhD at Stanford, where she also worked as a postdoctoral scholar.

Chlorinator pump



To design and evaluate a passive, in-line chlorination device for low cost drinking water treatment at the point-of-collection



Why We care about this

Globally, over 2 billion people access unsafe drinking water sources. This leads to diarrheal disease, a top cause of death for young children. For more than two decades, the dominant strategy for providing low-cost safe drinking water has been point-of-use (POU) treatment. This includes filters, solar disinfection (SODIS), boiling, or manual addition of chemical disinfectants, all of which place the burden on individual households to change their behaviors and make their own water safe. Studies show that correct, consistent use of this approach is hard to sustain over the long-term. In-line, passive chlorination makes it possible to treat drinking water at a low-cost, while removing from individuals the daily responsibility for drinking water treatment.

Why we see the knowledge we are generating as strategic

The importance of safe drinking water is well established. Centralized treatment of piped drinking water led to huge public health improvements in US cities, yet the same centralized utility model is unlikely to be feasible in the near term in many low-income settings. A scalable model for point-of-collection drinking water treatment offers a new low-cost, safe drinking water strategy that can help meet Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 to achieve universal access to safe drinking water.

What stage on the Stairway of Research contribution to problem solving

This approach is at stage 5 on the Stairway of Research; rigorous scientific evidence has been generated through randomized trials.


Project Dates



Stage of Work

What has been accomplished so far within the project

In 2016, the team at Stanford and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh, completed a cluster-randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of in-line chlorination at shared drinking water points on child health in low-income, urban Dhaka, Bangladesh. The intervention reduced child diarrhea by 23%. Additional research has explored landlords’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for in-line chlorination maintenance.

What are we focusing on now

With rigorous evidence to support this approach, team members are continuing to work on evaluating innovative passive chlorination technologies across a variety of settings with a focus on sustainable service models and rural communities.



A Better Solution Fighting Diarrhea  (Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment | August 8, 2019)

Researchers, including a Stanford epidemiologist, prove a simple device can reduce rates of child diarrhea


To Learn More About this Work

Chlorine Disinfection Systems for Low Income Urban Areas in Bangladesh

Program on Water, Health and Development  (Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)


Automatic Chlorination and Child Health in Urban Bangladesh | November 17, 2015



Primary Contact:  Stephen Luby

Stanford University

.  Stephen Luby, PI

.  Jenna Davis, co-PI  (Willingness To Pay (WTP) Study)

.  Dan Smith, PhD Candidate (WTP Study)

Tufts University

.  Amy Pickering (PhD, Stanford), Assistant Professor, Tufts University  (Health Impact Study/WTP Study)

.  Jenna Swarthout (MS, Stanford), PhD Candidate, Tufts University

UC Berkeley

.  Yoshika Crider (MS, Stanford), PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley  (Health Impact Study/WTP Study)

Emory University

.  Frederick Goddard (MS, Stanford), PhD, Emory University (Health Impact Study)

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)

.  Sonia Sultana

.  Syed Anjerul Islam (MS, Tufts University)

Aclima, Inc,

.  Shreyan Sen (MS, Stanford)

Mathematica Policy Research

.  Raga Ayyagari (MS, Stanford)



World BankAward (Impact Evaluation)

Stanford Woods Institute of the Environment