The safety and accessibility of drinking-water are major concerns throughout the world. Health risks may arise from consumption of water contaminated with infectious agents, toxic chemicals, and radiological hazards. Improving access to safe drinking-water can result in tangible improvements to health. The quality of drinking-water is a powerful environmental determinant of health. Assurance of drinking-water safety is a foundation for the prevention and control of waterborne diseases.
Household water treatment and safe storage
Every year there are 2 million diarrhoeal deaths related to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene—the vast majority among children under 5. More than one billion people lack access to an improved water source. Safe household water storageis a critical component of a Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS) system being promoted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) worldwide in areas that do not have piped drinking water. In these areas it is not uncommon for drinking water to be stored in a pot, jar, crock or other container in the home. Even if this drinking water was of acceptable microbiological quality initially, it can become contaminated from dirty hands and utensils, such as dirty dippers and cups. Drinking water containers with "narrow dispensers are key" to keeping water from being contaminated while being stored in the home.All types of 'safe household water storage must be used with water from known clean sources or with water having received prior efficacious treatment.Household water treatment (HWTS) methods, such as boiling or chlorination, have long been recommended in emergencies. While there is increasing evidence of house hold water treatment efficacy in the development context, effectiveness in the acute emergency context has not been rigorously assessed.