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< prev - next > Water and sanitation Water quality and treatment KnO 100401_Arsenic and iron removal plant (Printable PDF)
A small-scale arsenic and iron removal plant
Practical Action
Box 1: Facts about arsenic
What is arsenic?
Arsenic is a metal that is soluble in water. It has no taste, colour or smell. It is highly
Where does it come from?
It naturally occurs in groundwater in many parts of the world.
What happens if one intakes arsenic?
At high dose, a person may die instantly. At low dose, arsenic may cause chronic diseases
such as skin lesions, cancer, gangrene, etc. The safe limit in water according to
Bangladesh standard is 50 parts per billion (50 micrograms per litre).
How do you detect arsenic in water?
There are field kits available. Water may be tested by the field kits and compared against
colour charts to indicate approximate arsenic concentration.
How to cope with arsenic in water?
The best option is to stop drinking arsenic contaminated water. One should switch to an
arsenic-safe source or treat the raw water to reduce the arsenic concentration before
Practical Action Bangladesh
House 12/B, Road 4
Dhaka- 1205, Bangladesh
Tel: +880 (0) 2-8650439, 9675236, 9675243
Fax: +8802 9674340
This Technical Brief was written by Shafiul Azam Ahmed for Practical Action
based on information from Practical Action Bangladesh. October 2008.
Practical Action is a development charity with a difference. We know the simplest ideas can have the
most profound, life-changing effect on poor people across the world. For over 40 years, we have been
working closely with some of the world’s poorest people - using simple technology to fight poverty and
transform their lives for the better. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin