Water Quality of Hand-Dug Wells in the Vicinity of Septic Tanks in Asante Akyem Agogo in the Ashanti Region of Ghana

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This study investigated the possible contamination of dug wells in the vicinity of septic tanks in Asante Akyem Agogo, a peri-urban community in the Ashanti Region. Monthly water samples were collected from 16 hand-dug wells from January to March, 2014, for physico-chemical and bacteriological analyses. Results from the analyses indicate that the water samples were generally acidic (pH: 3.8 – 6.7), and majority of them had nitrate levels that exceeded the WHO recommended guideline limit. In terms of bacteriological quality of the water, total coliforms (1.03x105 to 2.5x106), faecal coliforms (9.0x104 to 5.8x105) and E. Coli (0 to 1.37x105) far exceeded the WHO recommended guideline limits for drinking water. All the water samples, however, showed negative results for the presence of faecal enterococci. The presence of indicator bacteria in the water samples suggests contamination by human and animal wastes, and poses potential health risks to consumers of this water, without prior treatment. Stakeholders must ensure compliance with regulations to set up groundwater supply scheme and again maintain hygienic surroundings.
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.