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close this bookEnvironmentally Sound Technologies for Women in Agriculture (IIRR, 1996, 213 p.)
close this folderWater management for farm and home
View the documentSafe drinking water
View the documentMaintenance of community water sources
View the documentManagement of drinking water for the household
View the documentSome simple ways to purify drinking water
View the documentUse of indigenous plants for cleaning water
View the documentSoakage pit for proper disposal of waste water
View the documentEfficient use of irrigation water

Management of drinking water for the household

You must ensure that the water you use is safe. Take care to prevent contamination from the time water is collected to the time it is used.

Hands are a major source of water contamination. So, do not put your hands in the drinking water and do not let drinking water splash or pour over your hands during collection, transportation, or storage.

Water container

- Clean your water containers with ash or cleaning powder. Do not use mud as it contains harmful bacteria which can contaminate your water.

- Do not use containers which previously contained pesticides, chemicals, petrol, or other poisonous substances.

Collecting water

- Avoid collecting stagnant wafer from ponds. Collect water from wells rather than from surface sources. If, however, this cannot be avoided, strain the water through two layers of cloth. Allow the water to stand for a short while. The water can then be purified with bleaching powder or by boiling. (See Safe drinking water and Some simple ways to purify drinking water.)

Clean your hands thoroughly before filling the water container.

- Do not lower your container into the well. Use the community bucket fixed the well for this purpose.

- Do not place this community bucket on the ground.

- Do not walk down the steps of the well (in the case of a step well) to collect water. This spreads guinea worm. (See Maintenance of community water sources.)

Transporting water

- Carry drinking water in a covered container.
- Make sure that the cover is clean.

Storing water at home

- Keep the water container covered.

- Keep the water container on a high platform out of reach of children and animals. Clay pots and other porous containers must be raised slightly off the ground to prevent contamination.

- If possible, use a container with a tap near the base. This prevents contamination from hands and utensils dipping into the container. It also allows sediment to settle to the bottom.

- If possible, empty and clean household water storage containers daily.

- Use some simple methods to purify your water before use. (See Some simple ways to purify drinking water.)

- Use a clean, long-handled ladle to take water from the container.

Sources: National Drinking Water Mission, Government of India, Mr. Yash Pal Bedi and Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, Government of India