Traditional reservoirs for water storage are important systems of water supply in rural areas of Morocco. These reservoirs are fed by rainwater and/or directly from rivers through open channels; the stored water is used without any treatment as drinking water by the surrounding population. The present study aimed to assess the physicochemical and bacteriological quality of stored water and the corresponding sediment in six traditional reservoirs (R1 to R6) located in the rural municipality of Assif El Mal. We tested two inexpensive methods of disinfecting the stored water: chlorination and solar disinfection in bottles. The results show a rise of organic and mineral concentrations. Regarding bacteriological quality, a critical contamination level was detected (8 × 105 CFU/100 ml in water and 9 × 107 CFU/g in sediment) according to the 2002 Moroccan Standards for drinking water (0 CFU/100 ml). In the disinfection tests, chlorine disinfection removed all studied germs after just 1 hour, and the solar exposure process removed the majority of bacteria (after 3 hours) except those with a resistant form (Clostridia).

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