Evaluation of the efficiency of Moringa stenopetala and Opuntia Ficus Indica cladode for household water treatment

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Addis Abeba University


Background: Advanced water treatments that involve a series of steps are unthinkable in rural areas, where a dispersed population is found. It is also extremely costly for investment in developing countries. For this reason, we investigate the comparative performance of natural plant coagulants in removing turbidity and microbial load as compared to alum and chlorine for household water treatment, with the additional benefit of preventing water-borne diseases. Objectives: The main objective of this study was to investigate the efficiency of Moringa Stenopetala and Opuntia Ficus Indica cladodes as natural coagulants for household water treatment Methods: Batch coagulation and microbial reduction experiments were carried out on surface river waters found in Jimma, Ethiopia with having initial different turbidities. The seeds of Moringa stenopetala (Baker f.), and Opuntia ficus indica cladodes were used for this study. The turbidity removal efficiency and microbial quality were tested using a jar test, and Membrane filtration techniques respectively. Relevant parameters affecting the effectiveness of coagulation (optimal dose of coagulants, pH, storage duration/conditions, temperature, and conductivity) were also investigated. Results: The turbidity of river water were 32.1, 78.1, 132 and 78NTU, and their optimum doses for M.stenopetala was 20mg/l, 40mg/l, 50mg/l, 70mg/l, and for OFI cladodes were 50mg, 100mg/l.100mg/l and 0.5gr/l respectively. Their turbidity removal efficiency was found to be from 87% to 98.99% when treated with M. Stenopetala, and from 68% to 96.01% when treated with OFI at optimum doses in 3h settling time. About 97% of all types of microbial load removals were observed for both M. stenopetala and OFI. Conclusion: The findings showed that M. stenopetala plant species meet the requirements of drinking water quality in terms of microbial standards and maximum allowable limit of turbidity (≤5 NTU) if they are used for household water treatment, but the result of OFI was insufficient to fall within guideline values.



Coagulation, Turbidity, M.stenopetala, Opuntia ficus indica, Microbial load reduction, Household water treatment