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This study looked at the Assin Fosu Small Town Water Supply System in Ghana to verify whether the operation of the scheme is based on a comprehensive water safety plan and how the practice of water safety planning affects the quality of water delivered to the consumers. The study employed document reviews, structured observations, interviews and laboratory analysis of water samples. System design data files and an Operation and Management Contract document were reviewed along with in-depth interviews with key stakeholders of the water supply system. Structured observations were made to assess the management practices of the system managers. Three rounds of sampling of water were done at monthly intervals from 10 randomly selected public standpipes, 3 boreholes and 2 filtration units. Samples were analysed to assess their bacteriological safety and aesthetic (physical) quality (turbidity and colour). Upon detection of bacteriological contamination, the adequacy of disinfection was assessed by measuring the levels of residual chlorine. It was found that the recommended schedule for some key documented water
quality control and monitoring activities were not complied with. Consequently, the quality of water delivered to consumers at several public standpipes failed to meet the WHO guidelines for drinking water. Forty percent (40%) of all samples were found with faecal contamination, with 60% and 50% exceeding the WHO’s guideline levels for turbidity and colour respectively. It is recommended that the Community Water and Sanitation Agency in Ghana intensifies on-going efforts at ensuring that small-scale water supply systems in the country are managed with comprehensive water safety plans to prevent microbial contamination which could pose significant health risks to the consumers.
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