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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040730

Microbial Groundwater Quality Status of Hand-Dug Wells and Boreholes in the Dodowa Area of Ghana

1
Department of Civil Engineering, Central University, Miotso-Campus, Miotso Tema, Ghana
2
Department of Environmental Engineering and Water Technology, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
3
Department of Water Science and Engineering, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
4
Department of Civil Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana
Shared first authorship.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
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Abstract

To assess the suitability of water sources for drinking purposes, samples were taken from groundwater sources (boreholes and hand-dug wells) used for drinking water in the Dodowa area of Ghana. The samples were analyzed for the presence of fecal indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli) and viruses (Adenovirus and Rotavirus), using membrane filtration with plating and glass wool filtration with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), respectively. In addition, sanitary inspection of surroundings of the sources was conducted to identify their vulnerability to pollution. The presence of viruses was also assessed in water samples from the Dodowa River. More than 70% of the hand-dug wells were sited within 10 m of nearby sources of contamination. All sources contained E. coli bacteria, and their numbers in samples of water between dug wells and boreholes showed no significant difference (p = 0.48). Quantitative PCR results for Adenovirus indicated 27% and 55% were positive for the boreholes and hand-dug wells, respectively. Samples from all boreholes tested negative for the presence of Rotavirus while 27% of the dug wells were positive for Rotavirus. PCR tests of 20% of groundwater samples were inhibited. Based on these results we concluded that there is systemic microbial and fecal contamination of groundwater in the area. On-site sanitation facilities, e.g., pit latrines and unlined wastewater drains, are likely the most common sources of fecal contamination of groundwater in the area. Water abstracted from groundwater sources needs to be treated before use for consumption purposes. In addition, efforts should be made to delineate protected areas around groundwater abstraction points to minimize contamination from point sources of pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater quality; Adenovirus; Rotavirus; Escherichia coli groundwater quality; Adenovirus; Rotavirus; Escherichia coli
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Lutterodt, G.; van de Vossenberg, J.; Hoiting, Y.; Kamara, A.K.; Oduro-Kwarteng, S.; Foppen, J.W.A. Microbial Groundwater Quality Status of Hand-Dug Wells and Boreholes in the Dodowa Area of Ghana. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 730.

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