Comparison of Field-Measured Ceramic Pot Filter Performance and Users' Perception of Performance in Coastal Guatemala


The study of the use of ceramic pot filters (CPFs) for drinking water disinfection in developing areas is relatively mature in terms of laboratory and field-measured efficacy, and there are a few publications characterizing consumers' attitudes towards the technology. This paper addresses both issues by comparing measured disinfection and flowrates of CPFs in four Guatemalan villages to the results of user surveys. Performance data collection and user surveys were conducted by a combination of U.S. researchers, U.S. students, and trained staff from a local NGO in the coastal department of Izabal along the Gulf of Honduras over a two-year period. As expected, water quality testing indicated that the CPFs were effective at reducing coliforms in treated water, and consumer attitudes indicated that the majority of users perceived an increase in health benefits associated with CPF use. The collaboration of engineering and social science researchers described in this paper increases the overall understanding of using a sustainable technology to prevent water-borne disease in developing areas, but the uncertainty associated with the results highlights the need for the formal inclusion of another discipline, epidemiology, to more completely characterize CPF deployments.

Meeting Name

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2018 (2018: Jun. 3-7, Minneapolis, MN)


Arts, Languages, and Philosophy

Second Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bandpass filters; Ceramic materials; Disinfection; Environmental technology; Potable water; Social sciences computing; Students; Surveys; Water quality, Ceramic pot filters; Consumer attitudes; Drinking water disinfection; Performance data; Sustainable technology; Users' perception; Water quality testing; Water-borne disease, Water treatment

Geographic Coverage


International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2018