Evaluation of Drinking Water Quality and Bacterial Antibiotic Sensitivity in Wells and Standpipes at Household Water Points in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Sesay, Bockarie Pompey
Fofanah, Bobson D.
Kamara, Ibrahim F.
Kanu, Joseph S.
Sagili, Karuna D.
AffiliationMinistry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone; World Health Organization Country Office, Sierra Leone; Sierra Leone National Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, Sierra Leone; University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospitals Complex; University of Sierra Leone; Sustainable Health Systems Sierra Leone; Global Health Connections; International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, New Delhi; University of Liverpool; University of Chester
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AbstractWater quality surveillance can help to reduce waterborne diseases. Despite better access to safe drinking water in Sierra Leone, about a third of the population (3 million people) drink water from unimproved sources. In this cross-sectional study, we collected water samples from 15 standpipes and 5 wells and measured the physicochemical and bacteriological water quality, and the antimicrobial sensitivity of <i>Escherichia coli</i> (<i>E. coli</i>) in two communities in Freetown, Sierra Leone in the dry and wet seasons in 2021. All water sources were contaminated with <i>E. coli</i>, and all five wells and 25% of standpipes had at least an intermediate risk level of <i>E. coli</i>. There was no antimicrobial resistance detected in the <i>E. coli</i> tested. The nitrate level exceeded the WHO's recommended standard (>10 parts per million) in 60% of the wells and in less than 20% of the standpipes. The proportion of samples from standpipes with high levels of total dissolved solids (>10 Nephelometric Turbidity Units) was much higher in the rainy season (73% vs. 7%). The level of water contamination is concerning. We suggest options to reduce <i>E. coli</i> contamination. Further research is required to identify where contamination of the water in standpipes is occurring.
CitationKamara, D., Bah, D., Sesay, M., Maruta, A., Sesay, B. P., Fofanah, B. D., Kamara, I. F., Kanu, J. S., Lakoh, S., Molleh, B., Guth, J., Sagili, K. D., Tavernor, S., Wilkinson, E. (2022). Evaluation of drinking water quality and bacterial antibiotic sensitivity in wells and standpipes at household water points in Freetown, Sierra Leone. International journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(11), 6650. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116650
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