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Assessing water quality of rural water supply schemes as a measure of service delivery sustainability: A case study of WondoGenet district, Southern Ethiopia

Israel Deneke Haylamicheal
Awdenegest Moges


This study was conducted in WondoGenet district, Southern Ethiopia to assess the water quality of rural water supply schemes in relation to the sustainability of their service delivery. 28 functional water  points were selected randomly, for their assessments. The assessments included sanitary surveillance of water points and water quality analyses. Water samples were analyzed for pH, temperature, total  dissolved solids, turbidity, total hardness, fecal and total coliform bacteria, fluoride, chloride, nitrate,  manganese, and iron. The results obtained show that most of the 'user perceived' acceptable drinking  water quality parameters were within the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for drinking  water quality, based on aesthetic and taste considerations. Only one dug-well had marginally higher  level of total hardness (that is, 220 mg/l of CaCO3), while four water points had higher turbidity  ranging from 8.3 to 64 NTU when compared with the WHO guidelines. In all the sampled water points,  the level of iron (<0.009 to 1.25 mg/l), manganese (0.10 to 1.50 mg/l), chloride (0.80 to 62.5 mg/l),  and nitrate (0.90 to 12.7 mg/l) were within the WHO guidelines. Fluoride was also found to be below  the WHO health based limit (<1.5 mg/l). However, majority (85.7%) of the water points had  detectable levels of total coliform bacteria (1 to 68 cfu). On the other hand, it was only in 25% of the  water points that fecal coliform bacteria were detected (1 to 10 cfu). This shows that the  bacteriological water quality is of concern as majority of the water points had detectable levels of  coliform bacteria. Therefore, regular chlorination of water points, particularly dug wells, should  continue. Besides, disinfection of water at the household level can be an added advantage.

Key words: Ethiopia, quality, rural, supply, sustainability, water.

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eISSN: 1996-0786
print ISSN: 1996-0786