Collections > Master's Papers > Gillings School of Public Health > Efficacy of BACSAN as a Point-of-Supply Drinking Water Disinfectant

Point-of-supply disinfection is one promising means of providing safe drinking water to the nearly one billion people lacking access around the world. BacSan is an aqueous solution of natural ionic minerals that may serve as an effective option for point-of-supply disinfection; charged ions in the solution may inactivate microbes by binding DNA and/or disrupting cells walls and other structures. This project evaluated BacSan disinfection by varying concentration and time to meet the performance criteria set by the US EPA and WHO for the reduction of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella terrigena, male-specific coliphage MS-2, and Polio virus type 1. Appreciable reductions of microbial indicators were observed. For E. coli B, a reduction of ≥6.8 log[10](≥99.9999%) was achieved (24 hours, 13.3 μl BacSan/L), for K. terrigena, a reduction of 8.5 log[10](99.9999997%) was achieved (24 hours, 20 μl BacSan/L), for MS-2, a reduction of >5.5 log[10] (>99.9997%) was achieved (24 hours, 20 μl BacSan/L), and for Poliovirus-1, a reduction of 1.321 log[10](92.89%) was achieved (24 hours, 28.6 μl BacSan/L). This study also evaluated the potential health risks posed to users of BacSan. It was found that BacSan contributed concentrations of nitrates and copper above those considered safe for human health, according to the US EPA and WHO BacSan also contributed concentrations of aluminum and zinc at levels that may cause negative aesthetic effects in treated water. We conclude that BacSan significantly reduces concentrations of some representative indicator microorganisms in raw water, though it may cause health risks in some populations.