The MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) has been working in Nepal since 1999 to help provide clean drinking water and improved sanitation to those in need. This is our most popular project. More than 30 Masters of Engineering students, MIT Sloan Business School students, MIT faculty members, the MIT New Office photojournalist and even several student from Stanford and Berkeley have traveled to Nepal as part of teams involved in this project. Our various Nepal thesis and team projects have included assessing water quality and water/sanitation surveys at project sites, evaluation and testing of existing technologies, researching, designing and developing low-cost point-of-use household water treatment technologies and business analysis and implementation of our ideas and technologies. Our field sites include the Kathmandu Valley, the hills region in and around Tansen, and the Terai Region (Kapilvastu, Rupendehi, Nawalparasi, Parsa, Bara, Rautahat, Siraha, and Saptari Districts).

Our investigations in Nepal fall into several broad categories, as follows:

  • Water quality and site investigations (drinking water, wastewater, watershed)
  • Household drinking water treatment and safe storage systems for microbial and/or arsenic contamination
  • Wastewater treatment and on-site sanitation systems investigations
  • Household drinking water technology implementation and business investigations

At the household scale, we have evaluated four different types of household treatment technologies for addressing microbial contamination:

(1) Ceramic Filters
(2) Chlorine Disinfection (the “Safe Water System”)
(3) Intermittent Slow Sand Filters
(4) Solar Disinfection

For arsenic contamination, we have evaluated eight different arsenic remediation technologies:

(1) Three-Kolshi/ Gagri
(2) Jerry Can
(3) Iron-oxide coated sand (IOCS)
(4) Activated Alumina Metal Oxide #1 (Apyron)
(5) Activated Alumina Metal Oxide #2 (Aquatic Technology Systems)
(6) Coagulation/ Filtration (2-Kolshi)
(7) Arsenic Iron Removal Plants
(8) Kanchan Arsenic Filter

Since 2003, in collaboration with local organizations, we have implemented the Kanchan Arsenic Filter Project to disseminate the technology throughout Nepal. Information about this can be found under the Kanchan Arsenic Filter Project section.

See Corresponding Project Theses and Reports & Presentations