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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010064

Evaluation of Well Designs to Improve Access to Safe and Clean Water in Rural Tanzania

1
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Health Promotion Sciences Department, The University of Arizona, 1295 N Martin Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, The University of Arizona, 1230 E. Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 801 Dow Building, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
4
Department of Engineering, James Madison University, 801 Carrier Dr., Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA
5
Maji Safi kwa Afya Bora Ifakara (MSABI), Kilosa Road 65, Morogoro 284, Tanzania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 4 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [594 KB, uploaded 4 January 2018]   |  

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine three well designs: drilled wells (20–30 m deep), closed dug wells (>5 m deep), and hand-dug open wells (<5 m deep), to determine the water quality for improving access to safe and clean water in rural communities. Heterotrophic plate count (HPC), total coliforms (TC), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and turbidity, were used to assess the water quality of 97 wells. Additionally, the study looked at the microflora diversity of the water, focusing on potential pathogens using outgrowth, PCR, and genome sequencing for 10 wells. Concentrations of TC for the open dug wells (4 × 104 CFU/100 mL) were higher than the drilled (2 × 103 CFU/100 mL) and closed dug wells (3 × 103 CFU/100 mL). E. coli concentration for drilled and closed dug wells was <22 MPN (most probable number)/100 mL, but higher for open wells (>154 MPN/100 mL). The drilled well turbidity (11 NTU) was within the standard deviation of the closed well (28 NTU) compared to open dug wells (49 NTU). Drilled and closed wells had similar microbial diversity. There were no significant differences between drilled and closed dug wells. The covering and lining of hand-dug wells should be considered as an alternative to improve access to safe and clean water in rural communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: borehole; coliform; Escherichia coli; groundwater; Ifakara; water quality; well design; well depth; well comparison; Sub-Saharan Africa; Tanzania borehole; coliform; Escherichia coli; groundwater; Ifakara; water quality; well design; well depth; well comparison; Sub-Saharan Africa; Tanzania
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kilungo, A.; Powers, L.; Arnold, N.; Whelan, K.; Paterson, K.; Young, D. Evaluation of Well Designs to Improve Access to Safe and Clean Water in Rural Tanzania. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 64.

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