Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

David K. Stevens


David K. Stevens


Mac McKee


Michael J. McFarland


Shortage of drinking water is the big challenge for Sudan. The cost of water treatment is the main reason for using untreated water for drinking purposes in many urban areas in Sudan. Water born‐diseases (diarrhea, typhoid, etc) are common and there are many victims in unimproved urban areas in Khartoum (Sudan) due to poor or the lack of treatment of drinking water.

In this work, a simple and appropriate method (sand filter) for household water treatment was tested and developed. The main objective of using this method is to help people in urban areas without access to treated water to improve drinking water quality individually. Experiments were run to improve design and operating conditions for removing turbidity by sand filtration. The lowest turbidity was found to be 8 NTU from initial turbidity 2100 NTU (99.6% removal).

Nile River water characteristics data were analyzed to understand water quality in Khartoum. The water quality data were obtained from Biwater Company LTD and compared with the WHO standards for drinking water. The major water quality problem was the high turbidity which is often correlated with high levels of pathogens and other water quality impairments. Monthly histograms for the period during August 2004 to August 2005 were done to characterized temporal patterns in turbidity. Tukey’s Honest Significant Difference test was used to discover that the only different between monthly averages was found to be during the Nile floods in Khartoum (July‐September).

Finally, the estimated sand filter cost and medical treatment expenses for water borne illness in Khartoum were compared. The medical expenses were found to be high compared to the sand filter cost. This leads to the potential for large physical and economic benefits, and improvement in these urban areas due to using this simple method of water treatment.


Publication made available electronically January 13, 2012.