Quality of sachet water sold in the Techiman Municipality

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The quality of sachet water sold in the Techiman Municipality was determined. Ten different brands out of twenty sachet water sold in the Techiman Municipality in the Brong Ahafo region were purposively selected for the study. These were: WA1, WA2, WA3, WA4 , WA5, WA6, WA7, WA8, WA9 and WA10. Triplicate samples were taken from both production and retail points/sources over a period of three (3) months, starting from February, 2013 to April, 2013. A total of sixty (60) samples were taken for the period of the study. Physiochemical parameters such as pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Alkalinity, Colour, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Turbidity, Total Hardness (TH), Total Dissolved Solids, Phosphate, Nitrates, Fluorides, Chloride, Nitrite and Sulphate were analyzed together with heavy metals such as Iron and Copper using standard protocols. Microbial analyzes were also carried out to determine contaminations with respect to total coliform and Escherichia coli (E.coli). The samples taken from retail points and production points showed compliance with respect to physiochemical parameters excluding Nitrite. Excluding WA3 and WA7, the others recorded elevated nitrite levels with mean values of WA1 (3.68mg/l), WA2 (3.20mg/l), WA4 (3.80mg/l), WA5 (4.00mg/l), WA6 (4.00mg/l), WA8 (3.65mg/l), WA9 (3.67mg/l) and WA10 (3.34mg/l) at production points. Similar results were recorded also at the retail points where the values recorded are WA1 (4.00mg/l), WA2 (4.80mg/l), WA4 (3.90mg/l), WA5 (6.10mg/l), WA6 (6.10mg/l), WA8 (4.20mg/l), WA9 (3.80mg/l) and WA10 (4.00mg/l). The elevated nitrite levels recorded in the samples pose long term health risk to the public. Samples taken from WA10 at both points/sources recorded a mean pH value of 5.20 and 5.90 respectively. These pH values recorded are far below the recommended limit of 6.50-8.50 set by World Health Organization (WHO) and Ghana Standard Authority (GSA). The physiochemical parameters measured did not show any significant differences in the mean values between the production points/sources and retail points/sources of these samples. Samples taken from WA10, WA7 and WA5 recorded contamination with total coliform with mean colony count of 1cfu/100ml , 1cfu/100ml and 2cfu/100ml respectively. Microbial contaminations recorded in the three brands expose the public to immediate health effect.  
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements Master of Science degree in Environmental Science,