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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jan 4;15(1). pii: E64. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010064.

Evaluation of Well Designs to Improve Access to Safe and Clean Water in Rural Tanzania.

Author information

1
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Health Promotion Sciences Department, The University of Arizona, 1295 N Martin Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA. paminata@email.arizona.edu.
2
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, The University of Arizona, 1230 E. Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA. lspowers@email.arizona.edu.
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 801 Dow Building, Houghton, MI 49931, USA. nbarnold@mtu.edu.
4
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 801 Dow Building, Houghton, MI 49931, USA. kmwhelan@mtu.edu.
5
Department of Engineering, James Madison University, 801 Carrier Dr., Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA. paterson@mtu.edu.
6
Maji Safi kwa Afya Bora Ifakara (MSABI), Kilosa Road 65, Morogoro 284, Tanzania. africadale@gmail.com.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine three well designs: drilled wells (20-30 m deep), closed dug wells (>5 m deep), and hand-dug open wells (<5 m deep), to determine the water quality for improving access to safe and clean water in rural communities. Heterotrophic plate count (HPC), total coliforms (TC), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and turbidity, were used to assess the water quality of 97 wells. Additionally, the study looked at the microflora diversity of the water, focusing on potential pathogens using outgrowth, PCR, and genome sequencing for 10 wells. Concentrations of TC for the open dug wells (4 × 10⁴ CFU/100 mL) were higher than the drilled (2 × 10³ CFU/100 mL) and closed dug wells (3 × 10³ CFU/100 mL). E. coli concentration for drilled and closed dug wells was <22 MPN (most probable number)/100 mL, but higher for open wells (>154 MPN/100 mL). The drilled well turbidity (11 NTU) was within the standard deviation of the closed well (28 NTU) compared to open dug wells (49 NTU). Drilled and closed wells had similar microbial diversity. There were no significant differences between drilled and closed dug wells. The covering and lining of hand-dug wells should be considered as an alternative to improve access to safe and clean water in rural communities.

KEYWORDS:

Escherichia coli; Ifakara; Sub-Saharan Africa; Tanzania; borehole; coliform; groundwater; water quality; well comparison; well depth; well design

PMID:
29300305
PMCID:
PMC5800163
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph15010064
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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