Effect of Pit Latrines on Dug-Well Water Quality – A Case Study of the Asankrangwa Community in the Wassa Amenfi West District of Ghana

Abstract: This study examined the water quality of dug-wells cited in close proximity to pit latrines in the Asankrangwa community in the Western Region of Ghana. Water samples were collected from 16 dug-wells and analyzed for some physical, chemical and bacteriological parameters. The results show that all the dug-wells were sited closer than the 30 metres minimum separation distance between dug-wells and pit latrines. All the physico-chemical parameters analysed (except turbidity) fell within the Ghana EPA standards for drinking water. The bacteriological analyses, however, showed that the water was contaminated with total coliforms (15.50-71.62 cfu/100ml), faecal coliforms (0.00-13.00 cfu/100ml) and E. coli (0.00-4.25 cfu/100ml). The high numbers of these in the water samples could be attributed to the presence of the pit latrines and the sanitation around the dug-wells as well as the use of multiple receptacles and the nature of the dug-wells (uncovered, unlined and unpaved dug-wells). The presence of these biological indicators suggest that the water is potentially harmful to human health if consumed untreated.

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