Assessing the extent and determinants of fecal contamination of drinking water during transport, storage and use in the home: a cross-sectional study in Burkina Faso Open Access

Mills, Kristopher (Spring 2018)

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Introduction: Despite major investment in Burkina Faso’s infrastructure to provide safe water by building water pumps, diarrheal diseases remain a major contributor to the burden of disease. We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess fecal contamination of drinking water during collection, transport and use in the home and to assess risk factors at the household level that potentially influence the recontamination of drinking water. The aim of the study was to determine where along the supply chain fecal contamination occurs in order to identify possible interventions that could help ensure the microbiological quality of drinking water in this population. 


Methods: 144 household surveys were used to collect information on household demographics and household hygiene, sanitation, and drinking water practices, including water fetching, quantity, treatment, transport, and storage. Paired water samples were collected from water sources, at households, and from the containers used to collect and transport water from the source to the home.


Results: While 82.3% (95% CI 67.0%-97.6%) of the point sources had no detectable E. coli colonies/100 mL, only 13.3% (95% CI 5.1%-21.5%) of households had safe water under the WHO guidelines of no detectable E. coli colonies/100 mL. There was a notable increase in contamination during the transportation stage in the water supply chain as only 32.7% (95% CI 23.1%-42.3%) had no detectable E. colicolonies/100 mL. Risk factors associated with increasing health risk of household drinking water included: storing household’s storage container outside, scooping drinking water from the storage container, storage containers having small mouths, and storage containers being open. 


Discussion: Based on the study’s findings, there are a number of potential interventions that could help ensure the microbiological quality of drinking water in this population including improved water containers and point-of-use filtration systems.

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Materials and Methods-----------------------------------------------------7



Conclusions and Recommendations--------------------------------------20




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