The quality of bottled and sachet bagged drinking water in the Kumasi Metropolitan Area, Ghana

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Drinking water samples, from hand tied polythene, factory bagged sachet and bottled sources, bought from shops, streets vendors and market stalls in the Kumasi Metropolis, were analysed for total coliforms, faecal coliforms, faecal streptococci, iron, manganese and lead from December 2000 to July 2001. Total coliforms, faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci were not detected in bottled water samples. However total microbial counts (100m1-1) ranged between 1.00 x 103 and 2.40 x 105 With the exception of four brands that had 10 to 30 total coliforms and two brands that had 10 faecal coliforms each, all the other brands of factory plastic bagged sachet drinking water, were free of total coliforms, fàecal coliforms and fliecal streptococci. Total microbial counts ranged between 17.67 x 106 and 7.33 x 1010. Nine samples of hand tied polythene drinking water had a total coliform count of between 10 and 67, five samples recorded between 10 and 20 faecal coliforms and two others, had a colony each of faecal streptococci. Total microbial counts ranged between 9.00 x 1011 and 1.20 x 1013. There was a general trend towards an increase in coliform counts in factory plastic bagged sachet drinking water and hand tied polythene drinking water, with hand tied polythene drinking water recording the highest counts. Persons involved in the drinking water business should have basic education and should be aware of basic rudiments in good hygiene.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science degree in Environmental Science, 2002