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395411 - Comparison of field-measured ceramic pot filter performance and users’ perception of performance in coastal Guatemala

Tuesday, June 5
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Lake Superior B
Co-Authors: Audra Merfeld-Langston, G-4 Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Rolla, MO 65409, USA – Missouri University of Science & Technology; Andrew Elmore, 101 Straumanis-James Hall, Rolla, MO 65409, USA – Missouri University of Science & Technology

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 local NGOs 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 reported a perceived increase in health benefits associated with CPF usage. However, while the disinfection efficacy of the CPFs decreased over time, the users’ perception of a positive effect on their health condition did not change. 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.

Carlo Salvinelli, PhD

Instructor
University of Colorado Boulder

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Audra Merfeld-Langston

Associate Professor
Missouri University of Science & Technology

Audra Merfeld-Langston is associate professor of French and chair of the Department of Arts, Languages, & Philosophy at Missouri University of Science & Technology. In addition to her work on 20th-century French culture, her research interests include intercultural communication and intercultural sensitvitiy, especially as these skills apply to students before and after study abroad programs, and especially as they relate to engineering students traveling to Latin America. She is PI on a UISFL grant funded by the Department of Education to create a new minor in Latin American Studies for Technical Applications at Missouri S&T. As part her work on this grant, she is facilitating the development of study abroad programs and experiential learning opportunities in Latin America .

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Andrew Curtis Elmore

Professor Emeritus
Missouri University of Science & Technology

Curt Elmore has a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Arizona, and he is a registered professional engineer in four states. His areas of expertise include green and sustainable ground water remediation, water supply studies in developing areas of Latin America, and electrical microgrids powered by renewable energy sources. Dr. Elmore holds several committee positions in EWRI, and he one of the founders of ASCE's Margaret S. Petersen Award which is given annually to an outstanding woman in the field of water resources or environmental engineering.

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