In July 2007, a study by the Centre for Environmental Health Engineering, at the University of Surrey, assessed a modified method of jerry can cleaning in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Kitgum, N. Uganda. The poor condition of drinking water vessels used in the camp was confirmed as a potential source for microbiological contamination both visually and by microbiological testing. Jerry cans were disinfected using high strength sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) generated using an experimental AquaChlor Solar unit. The study suggested that regular jerry can cleaning, using a high strength chlorine based disinfectant, offers an effective method of alleviating the adverse effects of contamination in water collection and storage vessels. Results indicated that the method is capable of significantly reducing thermo-tolerant coliform numbers to below 5 cfu/100 ml in most cases. Chlorine strength depletion after repetitive cleaning confirms the impact of process. The method does not substitute for good hygiene practices, which are essential for maintaining water quality in the household. It is suggested that the process can play an important role during outbreaks of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, particularly if combined with regular water disinfection.
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