Household Water Treatment in Low-Resource Environments

Flat disks stacked in a small chamber.

Test disks for the evaluation of ceramic water filters.

Refine water treatment techniques using the scientific method to identify dependable, low-cost solutions to help individual households gain access to clean water.

Project description

About 800 million people in the world lack access to clean water. This project in focused on helping them, and in particular, the development of low-cost drinking water treatment methods on the household scale for low-resource environments. Previous students have investigated ceramic water filters, fabric filtration, plant-based coagulants, solar thermal disinfection, and iron and arsenic removal. Students should have a grounding in freshman chemistry and calculus. The projects are mostly lab- or field-based.

Project outcome

The primary outcome is the use of the scientific method to optimize household-scale drinking water treatment methods.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Anytime
Level of collaboration Individual student project
Benefits Academic credit; Work study
Who is eligible All undergraduate students who have completed freshman Chemistry and Calculus
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.
Udall and Goldwater Scholarships

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Udall Scholarship and the Goldwater Scholarship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Project mentor

James Jensen

Professor; Director of Undergraduate Studies

Environmental Engineering

207B Jarvis Hall

Phone: (716) 645-4007



To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. 

To get started, contact the project mentor using the contact information above to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge. Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor

Preparation guidance

Once you have registered for the Project Preparation Digital Badge, you will receive further instructions related to the activities you will need to complete. In addition, you will also complete the following preparation activities for this particular project:

  • Schedule a meeting with Dr. Jensen using the contact information above.