Microbiological and Physicochemical Assessment of Water from Boreholes and Hand-Dug Wells in Urban Communities within Ejisu-Juaben Municipality

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The microbial and physico-chemical quality of water from boreholes and hand-dug wells in urban communities within the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality of Ashanti region was studied. Water samples were collected from three boreholes and three hand-dug wells selected randomly from each community and the water samples analyzed using various standard methods. From the results, pH of the water from boreholes and hand-dug wells ranged from pH 4.34-5.13 units which fell below WHO guideline value for drinking water. The water was non-saline with all TDS values less than 1000 mg/l and soft to slightly hard (18.89-127.00 mg/l CaCO3). The anion (SO4-2, NO3-, Cl- and F-) levels in the water samples from selected boreholes and hand-dug wells were observed to be low and fell within the WHO guideline values. With the exception of two hand-dug wells at Ejisu (EJW2) and Juaben (JW2) recording iron (Fe) levels of 0.6810 and 0.3220 mg/l respectively, all boreholes and hand-dug wells had heavy metal (Fe, Mn, Zn and Cd) levels within the WHO guideline values. One borehole at Ejisu (EJBH3) and two boreholes at Juaben (JBH1 and JBH2) recorded total coliform in water samples with mean values of 2.08 x 104 and 3.06 x 104 CFU 100ml-1 respectively with zero counts for faecal coliform and E. coli. Boreholes at Fumesua and Bonwire recorded zero counts for total coliforms, faecal coliforms and E. coli. Only one borehole at Besease (BEBH1) recorded total coliforms, faecal coliforms and E. coli in water samples. Most hand-dug wells selected for the study recorded total coliforms, faecal coliforms and E. coli in samples with mean values of 4.92 x 105, 1.01x105 and 3.81 x 104 CFU 100ml-1 respectively. A total number of nine helminths were found out of the fifteen hand-dug wells. Six out of the nine helminths encountered were Ascaris species (66.7%), two out of the nine were Hookworm (22.2%) and one of the nine was Schistosoma haematobium (11.1%) which were recorded at Ejisu(EJW1), Juaben(JW2), Fumesua(FW3) and Besease(BEW1 and BEW2). A brief sanitation survey at each sampling community showed that, most hand-dug wells were sited near pit latrines, refuse dumps, septic tanks, farmlands, piggeries and in the vicinity of domestic animals with a minimum distance of 5m. Bacteriological quality of the water from all hand-dug wells were very poor (above detectable limits) compared to the boreholes and thus must be treated before use.  
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science,