Traditional methods of water purification in rural areas

Reddy Prasanna Duggireddy, Lakshmi Pisharody

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Water is one of the most critical parameters for the growth and sustenance of life. Adequate access to clean water is considered a human right and is inextricably associated with the world's economic growth and development. Reasons such as climate change, burgeoning population, and excessive water usage have resulted in inadequate access to clean water services, often resulting in poor sanitation and, thus, water-borne illnesses in the affected areas. Especially rural communities around the world continue to have difficulty accessing clean water services due to various social, political, and economic issues. Consequently, rural residents worldwide continue to rely on the surface and open water bodies as their primary source of water for their daily activities involving both domestic and agricultural activities. However, the quality of water from these water bodies is often compromised due to animal and anthropogenic activities. Furthermore, adopting advanced technology for water purification is difficult in rural areas due to basic infrastructural limitations. Consequently, raising concerns about water quality led rural people to adopt traditional water purification methods. These methods have proven to essentially eliminate visible contaminants, such as plant debris and soil fractions, and microorganisms to a limited extent. Nevertheless, various low-cost techniques for the removal of chemicals and bacterial contaminants have also been developed over time, making water safe for consumption. This chapter provides a detailed overview of traditionally practiced physical and chemical techniques to remove contaminants in water by the rural community. Additionally, the chapter also emphasizes the limitations involved in the application of traditional purifying methods/technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater Resources Management for Rural Development
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Mitigation
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780443187780
ISBN (Print)9780443187797
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Rural community
  • Traditional purification methods
  • Treatment methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science


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