Options for Providing Microbiologically Safe Drinking Water

  • Christon J. Hurst
Part of the Advances in Environmental Microbiology book series (AEM, volume 7)


This chapter describes how to provide microbiologically safe drinking water for different population groups, ranging from large municipalities to small communities and households. Information is presented about potential sources of treatable water including surface water, springs and seeps, groundwater, rainwater and fog. Storage of rainwater harvested by ground catchments and roof catchments also is explained. The appropriate processes for treating water are sedimentation, coagulation, flocculation, filtration and disinfection. Those processes often are achieved differently depending upon the population size that is being served. For example, disinfecting water by boiling works well to centrally treat water at the household level but trying to centrally boil enough water to supply a population of one million people would be unmanageable. I also have included information about safely distributing drinking water including the use of municipal plumbing networks, tanker trucks, prepackaged bottled water, water vending machines, and water dispensers. As a final topic, I explain how water is collected and recycled aboard the International Space Station along with images which show the developmental testing of that technology.


Drinking water Water treatment Bottled water International Space Station water recycling 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Christon J. Hurst declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christon J. Hurst
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.1814 Woodpine Lane, CincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Universidad del ValleCaliColombia

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