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Water 2014, 6(8), 2175-2194; doi:10.3390/w6082175

Piped-Water Supplies in Rural Areas of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam: Water Quality and Household Perceptions

Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services Section, Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, Bonn D-53113, North Rhine Westphalia, Germany
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Received: 29 January 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 25 July 2014
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Abstract

In the Mekong Delta (MD) in Vietnam, piped-water supply stations are being intensively built to reach the millennium development goal (MDG) to provide safe and clean drinking water resources to communities. However, studies focusing on the effectiveness of supply stations in reaching these goals are scarce to date. Water samples from 41 water supply stations in the MD were collected between June and October 2012. Water samples were analyzed for general parameters, salinity, nutrients, metal(loid)s and microbial indicator bacteria and compared with World Health Organization (WHO) and Vietnamese drinking water guidelines. In addition, 542 household interviews were conducted to investigate the connection rate to piped-water and people’s perceptions regarding piped-water supplies. The results show that water guidelines were exceeded for pH (min. 6.2), turbidity (max. 10 FTU), Cl (max. 1,576 mg·L−1), NH4 (max. 7.92 mg·L−1), Fe (431.1 µg·L−1), Hg (11.9 µg·L−1), and microbial indicator bacteria (max. total coliform 50,000 CFU 100 mL−1). Moreover, more than half of the interviewed households with access to a piped-water supply did not use this supply as a source of drinking water due to (i) high connection fees; (ii) preference for other water sources; and (iii) perceived poor quality/quantity. Our study shows that the maintenance and distribution of water supply stations should significantly improve in order for piped-water to become a reliable drinking water source. Additionally, alternatives, such as rainwater harvesting and decentralized treatment facilities, should also be considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: drinking water; E. coli; house preference; pollution; salinity; water treatment drinking water; E. coli; house preference; pollution; salinity; water treatment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wilbers, G.-J.; Sebesvari, Z.; Renaud, F.G. Piped-Water Supplies in Rural Areas of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam: Water Quality and Household Perceptions. Water 2014, 6, 2175-2194.

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