Abstract

Regular monitoring of microbial quality of water used for drinking is an important aspect of public health. Microbiological quality, using a novel microbial water quality test kit – Compartment Bag Test (CBT; AguaGenX, LLC, Chapel Hill, NC, USA), and physical parameters (pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, temperature and electrical conductivity) of 94 different water sources used by communities in the Ahenema Kokoben area of Ghana for drinking were tested. Using the WHO drinking water quality risk categories for the presence of Escherichia coli indicator bacteria, only 56% (53/94) of the water sources were safe for drinking, while 29% (27/94) of the water sources were classified as high risk and unsafe for human purposes. Some of the physical parameters were also higher than guideline values and could have been a contributing factor to poor water quality. Overall, the CBT proved to be a reliable alternative to traditional and lab-dependent microbial drinking water quality tests which can be easily used by water authorities to make sure that water is safe to drink.

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