Water Boxes in Test Households Now

by Dave Conklin on May 21, 2022

Since last month’s blog post, water boxes have been delivered to about a dozen participating households in the Uganda field trial. We are eagerly awaiting results from those households on how often the water boxes are used, the users’ experience with them, and how well they work. We expect to see preliminary results in June, and to have a final report in July. 

Two recent graduates of the engineering program at Uganda Christian University, Natasha and Peter, are working with the households during the field trial. We received an initial report from them on May 17 th . There are water boxes in use at 13 households, ranging from a 2-person household to two 10-person households, averaging 5.7 people per household. Nine of the households normally boil their water over a charcoal fire, two use an electric kettle, one uses both a charcoal fire and an electric kettle, and one uses a ceramic filter. Boiling water on charcoal costs about 1000 Ugandan shillings per 5 liters of water, approximately $0.21 per gallon. We estimate that using the water box to treat one gallon of
water uses less than a penny’s worth of electricity.

All the households get their water primarily from the national water utility; one uses rainwater as a supplemental source. The initial report included this statement: “For the national water samples collected and tested for E.coli and total coliforms, the water samples generally had E.coli and total coliforms in them. With treatment with the water box, there is elimination of E.coli and at least a log 2 reduction in total coliforms.” We have not yet received the quantitative test results.