Updated on September 23, 2023


Created on September 2, 2016

Dispensers for Safe Water


Content Partners


Product Description

Target Countries

Kenya, Malawi, Uganda

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Community, NGOs

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Evidence Action and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

Manufacturing/Building Method

The dispenser is installed near a water source. It is fitted with a valve that consistently delivers a precise 3 ml dose of chlorine. The tank is filled with sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) solution and installed at the water source in a protective casing. Community members go to their water source, place their bucket or jerrycan under the dispenser, turn the valve to dispense the correct amount of chlorine, and then fill the bucket with water. The chlorine disinfects the water within 30 minutes, then the chlorine residual prevents recontamination for 2-3 days.

Intellectural Property Type

Open Source

User Provision Model

Purchased by NGOs and donated to communities. In every community with a dispenser, there is an elected, local community promoter who is responsible for the dispenser and educates villages on how to use it.

Distributions to Date Status


Design Specifications

Dispensers are a 3 or 5 liter plastic container filled with 1.25% chlorine solution and fitted with a valve that doses 3 mL of solution per 20 Liter water container. They are fixed on a post in the ground near a water collection point.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Chlorine refills are delivered to the local promoter at each dispenser every two to three months. There are hotlines for promoters to contact with any issues, and repair dispenser hardware as needed. Dedicated field officers regularly monitor service delivery operations and adoption rates, which are used to adjust operations as necessary, hold staff accountable for service delivery targets, and track impact.

Replacement Components

There is a financing mechanism to recover a part of costs, which helps ensure that target communities have access to chlorine to make their water safe in the home for free.


The chlorine in the dispensers can last at least 3 months. Each full dispenser will treat water for ~150 people for ~1 month before needing refilled.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The chlorine should make the water safe from bacteriological contamination for 2-3 days.

Vetted Performance Status

Dispensers in emergency contexts are more likely to be effective if: installed at point-sources, a high-quality chlorine solution manufacturing and distribution chain is maintained, Dispenser hardware is maintained, Dispensers projects are within larger water programs integrated, Promoters are compensated, project staff is experienced, local partners are involved with implementation, ongoing monitoring is conducted, and if projects have sustainability plans.


Some household water treatment technologies are less effective if chlorinated water is used, for example filter with silver added or biosand filters.

Complementary Technical Systems

Safe storage container for water collection and storage.

Academic Research and References

Kremer, M., et al., Sustainability of Long-Term Take-Up at Point-of-Collection Chlorine Dispensers Provided Free of Charge in Rural Western Kenya, Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation, 2011, pp. 249-250.

Yates, T.M., et al., Effectiveness of Chlorine Dispensers in Emergencies: Case Study Results from Haiti, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Senegal, Environmental Science and Technology, 2015, 49 (8), pp. 5115-5122.

Ahmed, A., et al., Operational Models for Chlorine Dispensers at Communal Water Sources: Lessons from Government Partnerships in Kenya, Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation, 2011, pp. 412-415.

T. M. Yates, E. Armitage, L. V. Lehmann, A. J. Branz, and D. S. Lantagne, “Effectiveness of chlorine dispensers in emergencies: Case study results from Haiti, Sierra Leone, democratic republic of Congo, and Senegal,” Environ. Sci. Technol., vol. 49, no. 8, pp. 5115–5122, 2015

E. Action, “Safe Water Now,” Evidence Action, 10-Jul-2023. Available: https://www.evidenceaction.org/programs/safe-water-now#why-dispensers-for-safe-water-is-better

“Chlorine Dispensers for Safe Water,” Poverty-action.org. Available: https://poverty-action.org/chlorine-dispensers-safe-water

“Goal 6,” Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6

Mwawater.org. Available: https://mwawater.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Presentation-Dispensers-MWA.pdf

“Chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite),” Akvopedia.org. Available: https://akvopedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_(Sodium_Hypochlorite)

S. Pole, “Chlorine Dispensers for Safe Water in Uganda,” 29-Jul-2014. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzNtYGOt55w

Compliance with regulations

Chlorine is widely recognized and used for treating drinking water.

Evaluation methods

Field evaluations have been carried out in both emergency and development contexts.

Other Information

Comments from the Community


  1. Robert Hauck says:

    Manufacturing of this type of product requires documented process and assembly standards. In volumes of 100 special attention needs to be paid to ensure that each unit is not a unique “one of” but rather follows and industrialized, documented and controlled assembly and test process. This is especially true for units that generate and rely on high temperatures and pressures. Special processing and certifications to ensure that sterilization chambers and piping have been manufactured as required to ensure safety under these conditions is necessary.

  2. E4C.COMMENTS says:

    Noel Wilson says:

    Health target maybe should just refer to increased water access? There is no treatment tech on this product currently.

  3. David Klaus says:

    Pumping performance curves are very useful, and are a good example of the kind of performance curves necessary to better evaluate other systems.

  4. byamalong says:

    Hello, We are planning a project on chlorine dispenser and we want to use this plastic quality as it has been used by so many organisations in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi. How can we contact the supplier?
    Your assistance will be highly appreciated.

    Thank you

  5. gDZong says:

    Good day! please how do we purchase this point of use chlorine dispensers for some rural communities in Nigeria?

Leave a Reply

Explore similar solutions


December 29, 2023

Safe Water Book

Read Solution

Implemented by

Folia Water


January 16, 2024

Solvatten Solar Safe Water System

Read Solution

Implemented by



January 8, 2024

JanaJal Safe Water ATM

Read Solution

Implemented by



November 17, 2023

PATH Safe Delivery Kit

Read Solution

Implemented by



June 22, 2024

Safe Boda

Read Solution

Implemented by



September 26, 2023

Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness

Read Solution


January 3, 2024

Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI)

Read Solution

Implemented by

Fred Barrett and Dale Andreatta


January 24, 2024

NTU Singapore Water Test

Read Solution

Implemented by

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore

All Solutions

Contribute to E4C's Library of Breakthrough Sustainable Development Technology Solutions

Suggest A Solution

Get more information about Solutions Library and its features.

Learn More

Have thoughts on how we can improve?

Give Us Feedback

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member