How is Water Purified?

Compiled by:
Katharina Conradin (seecon international gmbh), Michael Kropac (seecon international gmbh), Dorothee Spuhler (seecon international gmbh)

Water Purification

In this section, compile the necessary information on water purification and try to find answers to the following (sample) questions:

  • Is the water in your area purified before being used for domestic, agricultural and/or industrial use?
  • How is this being done? Does purification take place at the household level, or is it centralised — or both?
  • Is the water quality sufficient for the respective purpose? If the water quality is not sufficient — what are the respective effects on agriculture, industry and domestic users?
  • Can you identify sources of pollution? Which stakeholders are involved here?


Where to get further information: If you lack information on this issues, you may want to sit together with the respective stakeholders (water users and water suppliers) and carry out laboratory analyses of the respective waters.


Interlinkages: How is water purification linked to other areas in the water and nutrient loop? The approach used for purification depends strongly on the form of water contamination that prevails: Are there primarily organic pollutants (e.g. from agriculture and households), is turbidity an issue or are there chemical pollutants? What are the sources of contamination?


The Case of Unsustainaville

Water Purification in Unsustainaville


SEECON 2010 Unsustainaville Water Purification

Water purification in Unsustainaville (SEECON 2010).

In Unsustainaville, water is purified in two locations

Problems with Water Purification in Unsustainaville


SEECON 2010 Unsustainaville Water Purification Problems

Problems with Water Purification in Unsustainaville (SEECON 2010).

There are several problems with these kinds of water purification:

  • Chlorination is effective, but it is also quite expensive and relies on the availability of chlorine, which is sometimes limited. Additionally, there is a lot of organic pollution that is not addressed with chlorination.
  • Boiling is very expensive for the local population in the low-income areas - so the very poor cannot afford it and frequently suffer from water-related diseases. Boiling with wood also puts a big strain on the forests around the city. Furthermore, it leads to indoor air pollution, causing respiratory diseases.

Where do I find further information to tackle water purification problems?