Physico-chemical and bacteriological assessment of selected boreholes and hand-dug wells in New Edubiase, Ashanti Region

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This study was carried out to assess the physicochemical and bacteriological quality of water from 5 boreholes and 5 hand-dug wells within the town‟s main residential areas. 60 water samples were collected from 5 main residential areas within the town from November 2011 to April 2012 and analysed for physicochemical characteristics and microbial quantity and quality. Total coliforms, faecal coliforms, salmonella and enterococci were enumerated using the standard most probable number method. The other parameters were also determined by various standard methods of water analysis. Total and faecal coliforms count in the borehole samples ranged from a mean of 7 to 142CFU/100mL and 2 to 55CFU/100mL respectively. For the hand-dug well samples, mean numbers of total coliforms, faecal coliforms and enterococci counts ranged from 293 to 5267CFU/100mL, 87 to 175 CFU/100mL and 1 to 21CFU/100ml respectively. All samples tested did not meet the GSB/WHO bacteriological standards for drinking water. However, the physicochemical parameters measured were within the GSB/WHO acceptable levels for drinking water. Generally the boreholes were comparatively better in quality than the hand-dug wells. Sanitary surveillance revealed that 5 of the sampling points were littered with eitheranimal and fowl droppings, or septic tanks/latrines were near the sampling points. The surrounding environments near most of the hand-dug wells were unkept and dirty. The presence ofTotal coliforms, Faecal coliforms and Enterococci should particularly raise serious public health concerns over the quality of the town‟s boreholes and hand-dug wells. Intervention measures including creating awareness and educating residents on borehole and hand-dug well construction, siting and care, boiling of water and improving sanitation should be urgently instituted.
Thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.