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Open AccessArticle

An Assessment of the Microbiological Water Quality of Sand Dams in Southeastern Kenya

Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University, Cranfield MK43 0AL, UK
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel St, London WC1E 7HT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(6), 708;
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Risks of Alternative Water Sources)
Sand-storage dams have proven to be a successful water harvesting method and potential solution to water and food security issues in semi-arid regions such as south east Kenya. This paper examines the microbiological quality of water both contained in the sand dam via test holes and abstracted from it through covered wells and scoop holes. In total, the values of thermotolerant coliform (TTC) concentration, turbidity, and pH are presented for 47 covered wells, 36 scoop holes, and 29 test holes, as well as the conductivity values in conductivity in 39 covered wells and 11 scoop holes. The water from test holes and covered wells was microbiologically of better quality than the scoop holes with median TTC levels of 0/100 mL and 159/100 mL respectively. However, the median values of turbidity for both scoop holes (20–30 NTU) and covered wells (5–10 NTU) exceed the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline values. In addition the conductivity of water from 23% of scoop holes and 26% of covered wells is above the recommended WHO limit. This study also found that sanitary surveys are not a useful indicator of water quality in sand dams; however, they can identify areas in which sanitation and improvement of water sources are needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbiology; faecal contamination; sand dam; sanitary inspection microbiology; faecal contamination; sand dam; sanitary inspection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Quinn, R.; Avis, O.; Decker, M.; Parker, A.; Cairncross, S. An Assessment of the Microbiological Water Quality of Sand Dams in Southeastern Kenya. Water 2018, 10, 708.

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