Piped distribution systems are limited to major urban centres in Cambodia, leaving the residents of peri-urban communities to rely on a variety of surface, rain and groundwater sources for their drinking water supplies. This paper examines microbial water quality results from two of Phnom Penh's peri-urban communities, and describes relationships between water source and treatment type, study site and storage vessel, relative to water quality guidelines. Treating water by boiling was a common practice, although the majority of residents indicated using boiling times far greater than required, which may impact adoption rates. A statistical difference is described between boiled water by source type, with boiled shallow well water having elevated E. coli levels. The only household drinking water type that met WHO guidelines most of the time was boiled rain or tank (vendor) water (56%); boiled rain or tank (vendor) water stored in a kettle, bucket/cooler or bucket with spigot met guideline values 69, 43 and 60% of the time, respectively. The highest quality water is from boiled rain or tank (vendor) water taken directly from a kettle. The findings described provide some insight on how to prioritize water options for various uses.

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