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Aquatabs New Systems and Previous African Market Success

Aquatabs is the largest supplier of quality water purification tablets in the world. Through their partners, Aquatabs have treated 11 billion liters of water just in 2016. Aquatabs are manufactured by Medentech in Ireland and meet international standards. Aquatabs offers a wide range of solutions from the individual to the community level, facilitating household and community treatment in rural, per-urban, and urban contexts.

A large contribution to the pro-poor provision of “safe” water can be made through Point-of-Use treatment at the household level. Aquatabs, a simple and inexpensive tablet, rapidly dissolves when added to water to release a measured dose of chlorine. These tablets are safe and effective against many micro-organisms. They are also inexpensive, easy to use and transport, and have a 3-year shelf life. Tablet sizes range from treating 1 liter, to 20 liters, and to over 5000 liters. The 5000 liter tablets are used for bulk treatment in stationary tanks or water tankers.

Another complementary solution is Point-of-Collection (POC) disinfection. These POC technologies require minimal behavior change of end users because the water is treated at shared water points, such as hand-pumps, public taps, water tanker trucks, or kiosks. POC treatment can also support small business development, since in some contexts customers are willing and able to pay cost-recovering prices for reliable, “safe” water supply.


How the AquatabsFLO system works

For example, Aquatabs Flo is a fully automated chlorine dosing device for shared water points. This system does not require reliable electricity or 24/7 supply to function because it is simply activated by water flow. Aquatabs Flo is installed in a holding tank and can purify up to 180,000 liters. The unit is pre-set to deliver 2 parts per million (ppm) of chlorine. On the other hand, Aquatabs InLine is positioned within the water line of a piped system. This inexpensive, easy to install and use system is also activated by water flow and does not require electricity. This solution is appropriate for larger systems, as it is able to disinfect up to 1 million liters with 1 to 2 ppm.

Highlighted Initiatives

Health Top Up Services, Ghana

Health Top Up Services (HTU) in Ghana started as a wholesale distributor of Aquatabs for USAID Precision dx. After the project’s completion, HTU is now the exclusive distributor in Ghana as of February 2016. HTU sold 4.1 million tabs in 2015 and 1.9 million tabs as of June 2016 through both commercial retail distribution and community based distribution encouraged by their own marketing strategy across multiple platforms. For more information on HTU.


As a part of the USAID IMPACT project in Cotonou, Benin, the importance of household water purification using Aquatabs was discussed among self-help groups. These groups also discussed the importance of responding quickly to diarrhea with oral rehydration salts (ORS). The IMPACT project also makes it easier for these women to purchase Aquatabs and ORS, enabling them to protect their family and the community from diarrheal diseases. For more information on USAID IMPACT.


USAID’s POUZN project (Point-Of-Use Safe Water Disinfection and Zinc Treatment), implemented by PSI, also worked with Aquatabs. POUZN sought to reduce diarrhea morbidity and mortality in children by increasing access to and demand for Aquatabs in Benin. Of the households who reported currently treating their water in 2009, the majority (52%) used Aquatabs. This was surprising since Aquatabs were only introduced to the market in 2008 and few people had previously treated their water. Social norms about safe water practices were key determinants of use; individuals who had heard a message about Aquatabs were twice as likely to ever treat their water (20.8% vs. 9.9%). These messages included the importance and ease of treating water, and the usage of Aquatabs by other community members. Find out more!

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