Joshua S. Gruber, Fermin Reygadas, Ben Arnold, Isha Ray, Kara L. Nelson & John Colford, Jr
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 89: 238 – 245
Publication year: 2013


In collaboration with a local non-profit organization, this study evaluated the expansion of a program that promoted and installed Mesita Azul, an ultraviolet-disinfection system designed to treat household drinking water in rural Mexico. We conducted a 15-month, cluster-randomized stepped wedge trial by randomizing the order in which 24 communities (444 households) received the intervention. We measured primary outcomes (water contamination and diarrhea) during seven household visits. The intervention increased the percentage of households with access to treated and safely stored drinking water (23–62%), and reduced the percentage of households with  contaminated drinking water (risk difference (RD): −19% [95% CI: −27%, −14%]). No significant reduction in diarrhea was observed (RD: −0.1% [95% CI: −1.1%, 0.9%]). We conclude that household water quality improvements measured in this study justify future promotion of the Mesita Azul, and that future studies to measure its health impact would be valuable if conducted in populations with higher diarrhea prevalence.