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Household Chlorination Options in Haiti

The worldwide health consequences of inadequate water and sanitation services include an estimated 4 billion cases of diarrhea and 1.9 million childhood deaths each year.  Diarrheal diseases also lead to decreased food intake and nutrient absorption, malnutrition, reduced resistance to infection, and impaired physical and cognitive development.  In Haiti, one of every eight children die before their fifth birthday, and diarrhea is the leading cause of death in children under five. For more information, contact or

Household chlorination is one intervention that has been proven to improve the microbiological quality of household water and reduce diarrheal disease in users in developing countries.  Currently, five different options for household chlorination are available in Haiti:  Gadyen Dlo, Dlo Lavi, Klorfasil, Aquatabs, and household bleach.  Each option has benefits and drawbacks.  The decision tree, table below, and specific product information on the next page are provided to assist organizations in choosing the most appropriate chlorination option for their project.  All of these options can be used as the chlorine source for one-bucket systems as well as the Gift of Water double-bucket water treatment system.


Chlorine option decision tree

Research has shown commercial bleach concentration in developing countries varies significantly and using commercial bleach for household chlorination should only be considered when no other option is available. 

Gadyen Dlo

Dlo Lavi




Cost per unit (cash outlay required)






Cost per 1000 liter treated






Estimated annual cost per family






Product shelf life (months)






Gadyen Dlo:  Locally produced sodium hypochlorite, DSI

Deep Springs International (DSI) produces 0.7% sodium hypochlorite locally and distributes in 8 oz. refillable bottles as ‘Gadyen Dlo’ (Water Guardian).  Users add one cap of solution to a 5-gallon plastic storage container.   One bottle treats 48 five gallon buckets and lasts a family 1-1.5 months.  Benefits are ease-of-use, demonstrated acceptability to users, scalability, and greater control over costs and import challenges.  Drawbacks include higher transportation costs and challenges compared to solid chlorine.  Contact Michael Ritter at or see


Klorfasil:  Imported granulated NaDCC

The Klorfasil (‘Easy Chlorine’) project manufactures plastic bottles holding 70 grams of granulated chlorine disinfectant (NaDCC).  Users invert the bottle and use the cap to dispense 1 dose (129 mg) of chlorine to 5 gallons of water.  One bottle treats 540 five gallon buckets and lasts a family about 1.5 years.  Benefits are low transportation costs compared to liquid and low frequency of need for refills.  Drawbacks include high cost of dispensing bottle and reliance on imported chlorine and bottle pieces.  Contact Jon Steele at or see


Dlo Lavi:  Imported sodium hypochlorite, PSI

Population Services International (PSI) imports and distributes 0.94% sodium hypochlorite in disposable 4 ounce Dlo Lavi (‘Water is Life’) bottles.  Users add one cap of solution to 5 gallons of water.  One bottle treats 30 five gallon buckets and lasts a family about 1 month.  Benefits are ease-of-use and high quality marketing provided by PSI.  Drawbacks include high cost, reliance on PSI’s supply chain, creation of plastic waste, and higher transportation costs and challenges compared to solid chlorine.  Contact Natacha Riviere at or see


Aquatabs:  Solid NaDCC tablets, Medentech

Medentech, a for-profit company based in Ireland, markets solid NaDCC Aquatabs in Haiti.  Various sizes of Aquatabs are available, allowing users to add one tablet to quantities of water ranging from 1 liter to 5 gallons.  Aquatabs are typically sold in sleeves of 10, but can also be purchased individually in Haiti or in bulk from Medentech.  Benefits are ease-of-use, demonstrated acceptability to users, and low transportation costs compared to liquid chlorine.  Drawbacks include high cost and reliance on imported product.  Contact Paul Edmondson at or


Jif or Clorox:  Commercial bleach, US or DR

Commercial bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) enters markets in Haiti from the United States and the Dominican Republic for various household uses.  Users add 3-5 drops to 5 gallons of water.  Some bleach bottles come with a top that dispenses by drops.  If not, users find other caps for measuring drops.  Bleach is sold in bottles ranging from 4 oz. to 1 gallon.  Benefits include local familiarity with product.  Drawbacks include uncertain concentration and shelf life, susceptibility to gaps in supply chain, high transportation costs, and difficulty in dispensing precise quantities.



The issues in this article are addressed on the USAID Environmental Health web pages. For more topics relating to environmental health, visit the web site at:

Related Publications

Pathways for Sustainable Sanitation - Arno Rosemarin, Nelson Ekane, Ian Caldwell, Elisabeth Kvarnstrom, Jennifer McConville, Cecilia Ruben & Madeleine Fogde, EcoSanRes Programme, Stockholm Environment Institute 
Publication Date: Nov 2008 - ISBN - 9781843391968

Water Supply and Sanitation for All - Hans Huber, Peter Wilderer and Stefania Paris
 Publication Date: Nov 2007 - ISBN - 9781843395140

Related Pages

Household Water Treatment Options in Developing Countries Fact Sheets

Preventing Diarrhea in Developing Countries -  Country Fact Sheets

Household Water Treatment Articles

Household Water Treatment Technical Reports

Household Water Treatment Manuals

Safe Water for the Community: A Guide for Establishing a Community-Based Safe Water System Program 

Household Water Treatment

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