Bio-Sand Filter (BSF): A Simple Water Treatment Device for Safe Drinking Water Supply and to Promote Health in Hazard Prone Hard-to-Reach Coastal Areas of Bangladesh
American Journal of Environmental Protection
Volume 5, Issue 5, October 2016, Pages: 109-114
Received: Jul. 21, 2016; Accepted: Aug. 1, 2016; Published: Aug. 15, 2016
Views 4646      Downloads 163
A. H. M. Enamul Kabir, Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Jessore University of Science and Technology, Jessore, Bangladesh
Tapos Kumar Chakraborty, Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Jessore University of Science and Technology, Jessore, Bangladesh
Gopal Chandra Ghosh, Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Jessore University of Science and Technology, Jessore, Bangladesh
Article Tools
Follow on us
This study investigated a locally assembled ‘Bio-Sand Filter (BSF)’ water treatment device for low cost household level drinking water supply in hazard-prone hard-to-reach coastal areas of Bangladesh to promote health. The device was made using locally available materials (plastic bucket, sand and gravel). Overall study results revealed a greater portion of turbidity reduction (>99%) in the filtrate. The filter was found to reduce 1.5-log of total coliform and 1.6-log of fecal coliform, though it is not capable of consistently meeting the WHO guideline to be less than 1CFU per 100 ml for both fecal and total coliform. The chlorination results showed that 2.4 mg/L chlorine doses were effective in post treatment of the filtrate and meet the recommended WHO guidelines to have free chlorine at least 0.5 mg/L to 1.0 mg/L in the stored water after 24hr to protect water from recontamination. The results led to the conclusion that one device could provide enough drinking water (24 to 50 L) to satisfy the needs of a large representative household. The filters reduce the risks of contamination between the water source and at the point of consumption through improving water quality that can be translated into improved health outcomes.
Bio-Sand Filter, Low-Cost Water Supply, Public Health, Hard-to-Reach Area
To cite this article
A. H. M. Enamul Kabir, Tapos Kumar Chakraborty, Gopal Chandra Ghosh, Bio-Sand Filter (BSF): A Simple Water Treatment Device for Safe Drinking Water Supply and to Promote Health in Hazard Prone Hard-to-Reach Coastal Areas of Bangladesh, American Journal of Environmental Protection. Vol. 5, No. 5, 2016, pp. 109-114. doi: 10.11648/j.ajep.20160505.11
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights”, 2003., accessed February 13, 2016.
WHO, Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality: Recommendations, vol. 1 of Incorporating First and Second Addendum, 2008. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 3rd edition.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2006. “UNDP Human Development Report, Beyond Scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis”., accessed February 10, 2016.
WHO, 2008. “An interview with Mahmudur Rahman: Bangladesh arsenic agony. Bulletin of the WHO”, vol. 86, no. 1, pp. 11–12.
WHO/UNICEF, 2015. Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation”, MDG Assessment report.
Dankelman I., K. Alam, W. B. Ahmed, Y. D. Gueye, N. Fatema, and R. M. Kutin, 2008. “Gender, climate change and human security: Lessons from Bangladesh, Ghana and Senegal.” Report prepared for Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) by the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), ABANTU for Development in Ghana, Action Aid Bangladesh, and ENDA in Senegal.
Quazi A. R., 2006. “In search of safe drinking water: In the context of climate change and salinity. Satkhira, Bangladesh: Uttaran and Water Committee”.
Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF), 2006. “Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Land Use Suitability and Adaptation Options: Coastal Land Zoning in the Southwest Dhaka, Bangladesh”, Ministry of Environment and Forest.
Hoque R. M., 2009. “Access to safe drinking water in rural Bangladesh: Water governance by DPHE”. Master’s Thesis, Institute of Governance Studies, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Islam M. A., H. Sakakibara, M. R. Karim and M. Sekine, 2013. “Potable water scarcity: options and issues in the coastal areas of Bangladesh”, Journal of Water and Health, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 532–542.
Wash Cluster, WaterAid and Unicef, 2009. “Learning and Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Response to Cyclone Aila, Khulna, Bangladesh”. From , accessed February 10, 2016.
Khan A., S. K. Mojumder, S. Kovats and P. Vineis, 2008. “Saline contamination of drinking water in Bangladesh”, Lancet, pp. 371-385.
Fewtrell L., and J. M. Colford, 2004. “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Interventions and Diarrhoea. A Health, Nutrition and Population Discussion Paper”, World Bank Human Development Network. Washington DC.
Barnes D., C. Collin, and S. Ziff, 2009. “The Bio-Sand Filter, Siphon Filter, and Rainwater Harvesting”, Report, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.
Duke W. F., R. N. Nordin, D. Baker, and A. Mazumder, 2006. “The use and performance of Bio-Sand filters in the Artibonite Valley of Haiti: a filed study of 107 households”, journal of Rural and Remote Health, vol. 6 no. 3, pp. 570.
Sobsey M. D., C. E. Stauber, L. M. Casanova, J. M. Brown, and M. A. Elliott, 2008. “Point of Use Household Drinking Water Filtration: A Practical, Effective Solution for Providing Sustained Access to Safe Drinking Water in the Developing World”, Environmental Science Technology, vol. 42, no. 12, pp. 4261–4267.
UNICEF/WHO, 2009. Diarrhea: Why children are still dying and what can be done. The United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health Organization.
Clasen T. F., 2008. “World Health Organization Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality Scaling up Household Water Treatment: Looking Back, Seeing Forward”, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.
WHO, “Calcium Hypochlorite. Fact Sheet 2.19”, 2006., accessed April 13, 2014.
CAWST, “Bio-Sand Filtration Construction Manual”, Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, Calgary, Canada, 2012. Available from: http: // filter, accessed February 12, 2016.
HACH Company, “DR/2100 Spectrophotometer Procedure Manual”, Loveland, Colorado”.
Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 21st edition, 2006. American Public Health Association/American Water Works Association/Water Environment Federation, Washington DC.
HACH Company, “DR/2700 Spectrophotometer Procedure Manual”, Loveland, Colorado”.
Ahmed F., 1996. “Coastal water supply in Bangladesh”, “Reaching the Unreached: Challenges For The 21st Century”, 22nd WEDC Conference, New Delhi, India.
Lee T-L., 2001. “Bio-Sand Household Water Filter Project in Nepal”, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Master of Engineering Thesis, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Buzunis B. J., 1995. “Intermittently Operated Slow Sand Filtration: A New Water Treatment Process”. Master’s Thesis, University of Calgary, Canada.
Kikkawa I., 2008. “Modification of the Bio-Sand Filter in the Northern Region of Ghana”, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Master of Engineering Thesis, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Huisman L., and W. E. Wood, “Slow Sand Filtration”, 1974. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Stevik T., A. Kari, G. Ausland, and J. Fredrik Hanssen, 2004. “Retention and removal of pathogenic bacteria in wastewater percolating through porous media: a review”, Water Research, vol. 38, pp. 1355–1367.
Baumgartner J., S. Murcott, and M. Ezzati, 2007. “Reconsidering ‘appropriate technology’: the effects of operating conditions on the bacterial removal performance of two household drinking-water filter systems”, Environmental Research Letters, vol. 2, pp. 1–6.
Elliott M. A., C. E. Stauber, F. Koksal, F. A. DiGiano, and M. D. Sobsey, 2008. “Reductions of E. coli, echovirus type 12 and bacteriophages in an intermittently operated household-scale slow sand filter”, Water Research, vol. 42, pp. 2662–2670.
Baig S. A., Q. Mahmood, B. Nawab, M. N. Shafqat, and A. Pervez, 2011. “Improvement of drinking water quality by using plant biomass through household Bio-Sand filter—a decentralized approach”, Ecological Engineering, vol. 37, pp. 1842–1848.
Stauber, C., Elliott, M., Koksal, F., Ortiz, G., DiGiano, F. & Sobsey, M., 2006. ‘Characterisation of the Bio-Sand filter for E. coli reductions from household drinking water under controlled laboratory and field use conditions’, Water Science and Technology, 54 (3), 1–7.
Vanderzwaag, J., Atwater, J., Bartlett, K., & Baker, D., 2009. Field evaluation of long-term performance and use of Bio-Sand filters in Posoltega, Nicaragua. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada, 44, 111–121.
Muhammad, N., Ellis, K., Parr, J. & Smith, M., 1996. ‘Optimization of slow sand filtration’, Reaching the Unreached, Challenges for the 21st Century. 22nd WEDC Conferences, 283–285.
WHO, “Chlorination Concepts. Fact Sheet 2.17”, 2006., accessed February 13, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Safe Water Systems”,, accessed March 14, 2016.
Lantagne D. S., 2008. “Sodium hypochlorite dosage for household and emergency water treatment”, Journal of American Water Works Association, vol. 100, no. 8, pp. 106–119.
Reynolds K. A., K. D. Mena, C. P. Gerba, 2008. “Risk of waterborne illness via drinking water in the United States”, In: Whitacre DM editor(s), Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, vol. 192, pp. 117-58, New York: Springer.
Cutler D., G. Miller, 2005. “The role of public health improvements in health advances: the twentieth-century United States [2005]”, Demography, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 1-22.
Clasen T., I. G. Roberts, T. Rabie, W. P. Schmidt, S. Cairncross, 2006. “Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhea”, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 3 [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004794.pub2].
Waddington H., B. Snilstveit, H. White, L. Fewtrell, 2009. “Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions to combat childhood diarrhoea in developing countries”. http:// (Accessed 15 March, 2016).
Cairncross S., C. Hunt, S. Boisson, K. Bostoen, V. Curtis, I. C. H. Fung, 2010. “Water, sanitation and hygiene for the prevention of diarrhea”, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 39, pp. 193-205.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186