COLIFORM ANALYSIS FOR TRACKING BACTERIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION PATHWAYS IN RURAL WATER SOURCESSTEPHEN T. ODONKOR AND KENNEDY K. ADDO
Water is life assess to safe water is essential for human development. Water related diseases such as infectious diarrhoea, microbial dysentery and cholera occur as a result of microbial contamination. The aim of this study was to evaluate the total and faecal coliform status of the drinking water sources in the Dangme West District of Ghana and to determine the contamination pathways, aimed at identifying appropriate intervention methods to reduce peril of potential infections. A total of four hundred and sixtyfour (464) water samples were collected for the study. The sampling period spanned one year across two seasons in Ghana: the dry and rainy seasons. The results obtained indicated that all the water sources were of poor quality in terms of microbial distributions with total coliform and faecal coliform counts ranging between 0 to 2.4x103 MPN/100 mL. Disease risk assessment of the various waters sources indicated that dam water sources presented with a high disease risk, while borehole water sources had a low disease risk. The bacteria contamination was highest in the dry season P <0.05 than in the rainy season. In a nutshell, to reduce the level of bacterial contamination of drinking water sources there should be an incessant education on issues such as: environmental awareness, cultivation of sanitation habits to ensure that surroundings and water sources are not indiscriminately polluted.
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