Preliminary Evaluation of Microbial Quality of Water Stored in Earthen Pots in the Tamale Metropolis, Ghana
The study was conducted to evaluate the microbial quality of earthen pot stored water in the Tamale Metropolis. A total of fifteen (15) samples were taken from five selected communities in the Metropolis from March to May 2013. Samples collected were conveyed to Water Research Institute laboratory, Tamale for analysis. Membrane filtration method was used to determine total coliform, faecal coliform and Escherichia coli while pour plate method was used to determine total heterotrophic bacteria (THB). The study obtained bacteria count of the earthen pot stored water that exceeded World Health Organisation and Ghana Standard Board specified limits. Total coliform values ranged from 9 to 5.84 X 102 cfu / 100 ml with a mean of 2.47 x 102 cfu / 100 ml. Comparative analysis shows that Escherichia coli and faecal coliform from some vending sites are significantly different (p < 0.05). The study revealed that earthen pot stored water from the various communities were contaminated due to unhygienic handling practices such as dipping of hands and utensils into the storage earthen pot. It is therefore recommended that water stored in earthen pots should be covered with a well fitting lid after collection and usage in order to meet the Millennium Development Goal 7
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