Deficiencies in drinking water distribution systems in developing countries

Ellen J. Lee, Kellogg Schwab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Rapidly growing populations and migration to urban areas in developing countries has resulted in a vital need for the establishment of centralized water systems to disseminate potable water to residents. Protected source water and modern, well-maintained drinking water treatment plants can provide water adequate for human consumption. However, ageing, stressed or poorly maintained distribution systems can cause the quality of piped drinking water to deteriorate below acceptable levels and pose serious health risks. This review will outline distribution system deficiencies in developing countries caused by: the failure to disinfect water or maintain a proper disinfection residual; low pipeline water pressure; intermittent service; excessive network leakages; corrosion of parts; inadequate sewage disposal; and inequitable pricing and usage of water. Through improved research, monitoring and surveillance, increased understanding of distribution system deficiencies may focus limited resources on key areas in an effort to improve public health and decrease global disease burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-127
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Water and Health
Volume3
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

Fingerprint

Drinking Water
Developing Countries
developing world
drinking water
Water
distribution system
water
sewage disposal
Corrosion
Water Purification
Disinfection
Sewage
well water
disinfection
health risk
leakage
water distribution system
public health
corrosion
Public Health

Keywords

  • Developing countries
  • Diarrhoeal disease
  • Distribution system
  • Potable water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Deficiencies in drinking water distribution systems in developing countries. / Lee, Ellen J.; Schwab, Kellogg.

In: Journal of Water and Health, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2005, p. 109-127.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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