The ACI Household Filter is a tabletop filter manufactured by the US‐based organization Aqua Clara International. It comes with two 0.1‐micron hollow fiber membrane elements in a single PVC housing, a tap, necessary installation hardware, a 75‐micron pre‐filter screen, and a backwashing syringe. The buckets must be procured separately and can be configured with one or two 20 L buckets for safe water storage.
Belize, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Market Suggested Retail Price
Target Users (Target Impact Group)
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
Filters have been distributed through partner organizations including: Fifth Reformed Church, Mars Hill Church, and World Relief.
Filters units are assembled in-country. Locally available components include: 1/4 inch PVC housing; 3/4 inch tap with rubber seal; 75 micron pre filter screen; 1. 5 gallon bucket or larger; large back-flushing syringe. Imported components include: two 0.1 micron hollow membrane units. To assemble, install the filter unit on the side of the bucket near the bottom in line with the tap in a one bucket configuration, or with the filter installed in the upper bucket over the hole to the bottom bucket with the tap in the bottom bucket.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Users can obtain the filters from local partner organizations. ACI requires that interested parties participate in a training program to ensure proper construction, use and monitoring of the units built in the field. Their approach centers on training and supporting individuals and/or organizations to establish and manage micro-enterprises based around purifier construction, sales and service with a focus on sustainability. The filters are distributed by partner organizations who provide filters by donation or locally established micro-enterprises.
Distributions to Date Status
More than 10,000 distributions Interview with manufacturer
Target use case
Manufacturer-specified flow rate (L/hr)
60 L/hr when full
Type of membrane filtration
Heavy metals and/or arsenic reduction
Maximum recommended influent turbidity level (NTU)
Effluent turbidity levels (NTU)
Material of construction
Hollow-fiber membrane, plastic, PVC
Safe water storage capacity (L)
Manufacturer-specified lifetime volume (L)
The filter is comprised of one or two 20 L buckets, a pre-filter screen, and two hollow-fiber membrane units. The pre-filter has a 50-75 micron screen and the membrane filters have a pore size of 0.2 microns. Water thus passes through each step in the filtration process as mentioned.
ACI provides technical support to implementing organizations.
Filter housing replacement components available on local market.
Manufacturer claims filters can treat more than 300 L of water a day and last for 10 years if properly maintained.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
Manufacturer claims filters are capable of 6 log bacteria removal.
Vetted Performance Status
ACI Househould filter was included in the HIF Emergency Household Water Filter Challenge to test for suitability in different emergency scenarios for humanitarian intervention and also tested by CAWST.
No known safety hazards are related to this product.
Complementary Technical Systems
Safe water storage container for treated water for a one-bucket configuration.
Academic Research and References
Cruz, Alli, Shepard, Katie, Swanson, Tatyana Venegas, and Walsh, Amy, Balancing Competing Priorities in Water Filtration: An Analysis for AMOS Health and Hope.
“Household Filter (1B or 2B HHF),” Aquaclara.org, 08-Dec-2012. Available: https://aquaclara.org/what-we-do/water-purifiers/sam-iii/
“How We Work,” Aquaclara.org, 19-Apr-2011. Available: https://aquaclara.org/what-we-do/how-we-work/
REALadmin, “Home,” Fifth Reformed Church Grand Rapids, 23-Nov-2020. Available: https://fifthchurch.org/home/
“Mars Hill Home,” Marshill.org. Available: http://www.marshill.org
“World Relief,” World Relief, 29-Jan-2020. Available: https://worldrelief.org/
“Goal 6,” Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6
“Training,” Aquaclara.org, 19-Apr-2011. Available: https://aquaclara.org/what-we-do/training/
“Our Story,” Aquaclara.org, 01-May-2011. Available: https://aquaclara.org/who-we-are/learn-more/
“Screen-Shot-2016-04-22-at-9.56.05-AM.png (976×731),” Aquaclara.org. Available: https://aquaclara.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Screen-Shot-2016-04-22-at-9.56.05-AM.png
Evaluation Matrix, “HIF emergency household water filter challenge:,” Elrha.org. Available: http://www.elrha.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2017-06-01_HIF-Emergency-Household-Water-Filter-Challenge_CAWST-Evaluation-Matrix-and-Report.pdf
“Evaluation & Research,” Aquaclara.org, 15-Apr-2011. Available: https://aquaclara.org/evaluation-research/
A. Clara, “Household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) implementation case study: Biosand filters and membrane filters in Kenya program details lead organization,” Constantcontact.com, 2016. Available: http://files.constantcontact.com/53f1742b001/58b14867-0878-48f0-8540-435abee9b8f6.pdf?ver=1500921508000
“ACI_Modules.png (621×805),” Aquaclara.org. Available: https://aquaclara.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ACI_Modules.png
Compliance with regulations
Approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards
In the HIF Emergency Household Water Filter Challenge, filters were tested for ease-of-use, effectiveness, lifespan, robustness, and affordability and evaluated in a matrix for different disaster scenarios. There is also a logistics case study from CAWST for product acceptance which used interviewing and focus groups to test implementation and financing strategies.
Aqua Clara International works with a number of technologies for household, facility, and industrial water treatment.