International Scheme to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technologies
The WHO International Scheme to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technologies (“Scheme”) was established to evaluate the microbiological performance of household water treatment (HWT) technologies against WHO health-based criteria. The results of the Scheme evaluation are intended to guide HWT product selection by Member States and procuring UN agencies.
There are a number of different HWT methods that aim to reduce microbial pathogens. These different treatment methods vary in their ability to remove the main classes of enteric pathogens that pose health risks (bacteria, protozoa and viruses). In order to assist Member States in the evaluation and selection of HWT technologies, WHO developed global recommendations, detailing criteria and guiding principles for evaluating and assessing the performance of HWT. These recommendations provide the basis for evaluating and classifying HWT into three levels of performance: *** (3-star); **; (2-star) and * (1-star), based on their ability to remove pathogens from drinking-water.
In this regard, the Scheme fills an important global and national need for independent health-based evaluation of HWT, especially considering the large number of product manufacturers and product claims, and the limited capacity of low-income countries to conduct testing to verify these claims.