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Misati A.G.,Egerton University | Ogendi G.,Egerton University | Peletz R.,The Aquaya Institute | Khush R.,The Aquaya Institute | Kumpel E.,The Aquaya Institute
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2017

Information about the quality of rural drinking water sources can be used to manage their safety and mitigate risks to health. Sanitary surveys, which are observational checklists to assess hazards present at water sources, are simpler to conduct than microbial tests. We assessed whether sanitary survey results were associated with measured indicator bacteria levels in rural drinking water sources in Kisii Central, Kenya. Overall, thermotolerant coliform (TTC) levels were high: all of the samples from the 20 tested dug wells, almost all (95%) of the samples from the 25 tested springs, and 61% of the samples from the 16 tested rainwater harvesting systems were contaminated with TTC. There were no significant associations between TTC levels and overall sanitary survey scores or their individual components. Contamination by TTC was associated with source type (dug wells and springs were more contaminated than rainwater systems). While sanitary surveys cannot be substituted for microbial water quality results in this context, they could be used to identify potential hazards and contribute to a comprehensive risk management approach. © 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Rahman Z.,The Aquaya Institute | Crocker J.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Chang K.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Khush R.,The Aquaya Institute | Bartram J.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development | Year: 2011

The global burden of disease attributable to contaminated drinking water calls for effective strategies for ensuring drinking water quality. To characterize institutional and policy approaches towards water quality management, we compared national and sub-national institutional frameworks for drinking water provision and management in nine developing countries, focusing on roles, responsibilities and capacity for water quality monitoring. Responsibilities for operational and surveillance (compliance) water quality monitoring of formal urban water supplies are typically well defined, with attention placed on both activities. Legal requirements for surveillance monitoring of community and smaller supplies are generally also in place, however, standards for operational monitoring vary considerably between countries. In practice, resources and capacity for consistent operational and surveillance monitoring of rural and informal urban supplies are limited. To improve oversight and management in these settings, we hypothesize that surveillance agencies could increase the use of audit-based water quality data collection from formal urban water suppliers and target the resulting efficiency gains towards increased direct surveillance of rural and informal water supplies. In addition there is a need for capacity building and technology development that supports increased operational monitoring and data reporting from resource-poor settings. © IWA Publishing 2011.


Peletz R.,The Aquaya Institute | Kumpel E.,The Aquaya Institute | Bonham M.,The Aquaya Institute | Rahman Z.,The Aquaya Institute | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2016

Water quality information is important for guiding water safety management and preventing water-related diseases. To assess the current status of regulated water quality monitoring in sub-Saharan Africa, we evaluated testing programs for fecal contamination in 72 institutions (water suppliers and public health agencies) across 10 countries. Data were collected through written surveys, in-person interviews, and analysis of microbial water quality testing levels. Though most institutions did not achieve the testing levels specified by applicable standards or World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines, 85% of institutions had conducted some microbial water testing in the previous year. Institutions were more likely to meet testing targets if they were suppliers (as compared to surveillance agencies), served larger populations, operated in urban settings, and had higher water quality budgets (all p < 0.05). Our results indicate that smaller water providers and rural public health offices will require greater attention and additional resources to achieve regulatory compliance for water quality monitoring in sub-Saharan Africa. The cost-effectiveness of water quality monitoring should be improved by the application of risk-based water management approaches. Efforts to strengthen monitoring capacity should pay greater attention to program sustainability and institutional commitment to water safety. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Torkelson A.A.,University of California at Berkeley | da Silva A.K.,University of California at Berkeley | Love D.C.,University of California at Berkeley | Kim J.Y.,University of California at Berkeley | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Applied Microbiology | Year: 2012

Aims: To develop an anti-microbial filter media using an attached quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) and evaluate its performance under conditions relevant to household drinking water treatment in developing countries. Methods and Results: Silica sand was coated with dimethyloctadecyl [3-(trimethoxysilyl) propyl] ammonium chloride via covalent silane chemistry. Filter columns packed with coated media were challenged with micro-organisms under different water quality conditions. The anti-bacterial properties were investigated by visualizing Escherichia coli (E. coli) attachment to coated media under fluorescence microscopy combined with a live/dead stain. A 9-cm columns with a filtration velocity of 18 m h-1 achieved log10 removals of 1·7 for E. coli, 1·8 for MS2 coliphage, 1·9 for Poliovirus type 3 and 0·36 for Adenovirus type 2, compared to 0·1-0·3 log10 removals of E. coli and MS2 by uncoated sand. Removal scaled linearly with column length and decreased with increasing ionic strength, flow velocity, filtration time and humic acid presence. Escherichia coli attached to QAC-coated sand were observed to be membrane-permeable, providing evidence of inactivation. Conclusions: Filtration with QAC-coated sand provided higher removal of bacteria and viruses than filtration with uncoated sand. However, major limitations included rapid fouling by micro-organisms and natural organic matter and low removal of viruses PRD1 and Adenovirus 2. Significance and Impact of the Study: QAC-coated media may be promising for household water treatment. However, more research is needed on long-term performance, options to reduce fouling and inactivation mechanisms. © 2012 The Society for Applied Microbiology.


Kumpel E.,The Aquaya Institute | Peletz R.,The Aquaya Institute | Bonham M.,The Aquaya Institute | Fay A.,The Aquaya Institute | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2015

Water quality monitoring is important for identifying public health risks and ensuring water safety. However, even when water sources are tested, many institutions struggle to access data for immediate action or long-term decision-making. We analyzed water testing structures among 26 regulated water suppliers and public health surveillance agencies across six African countries and identified four water quality data management typologies. Within each typology, we then analyzed the potential for information and communication technology (ICT) tools to facilitate water quality information flows. A consistent feature of all four typologies was that testing activities occurred in laboratories or offices, not at water sources; therefore, mobile phone-based data management may be most beneficial for institutions that collect data from multiple remote laboratories. We implemented a mobile phone application to facilitate water quality data collection within the national public health agency in Senegal, Service National de l’Hygiène. Our results indicate that using the phones to transmit more than just water quality data will likely improve the effectiveness and sustainability of this type of intervention. We conclude that an assessment of program structure, particularly its data flows, provides a sound starting point for understanding the extent to which ICTs might strengthen water quality monitoring efforts. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


PubMed | The Aquaya Institute
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health | Year: 2016

Water quality information is important for guiding water safety management and preventing water-related diseases. To assess the current status of regulated water quality monitoring in sub-Saharan Africa, we evaluated testing programs for fecal contamination in 72 institutions (water suppliers and public health agencies) across 10 countries. Data were collected through written surveys, in-person interviews, and analysis of microbial water quality testing levels. Though most institutions did not achieve the testing levels specified by applicable standards or World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines, 85% of institutions had conducted some microbial water testing in the previous year. Institutions were more likely to meet testing targets if they were suppliers (as compared to surveillance agencies), served larger populations, operated in urban settings, and had higher water quality budgets (all p < 0.05). Our results indicate that smaller water providers and rural public health offices will require greater attention and additional resources to achieve regulatory compliance for water quality monitoring in sub-Saharan Africa. The cost-effectiveness of water quality monitoring should be improved by the application of risk-based water management approaches. Efforts to strengthen monitoring capacity should pay greater attention to program sustainability and institutional commitment to water safety.


PubMed | The Aquaya Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental science & technology | Year: 2016

Universal access to safe drinking water is prioritized in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Collecting reliable and actionable water quality information in low-resource settings, however, is challenging, and little is known about the correspondence between water quality data collected by local monitoring agencies and global frameworks for water safety. Using 42926 microbial water quality test results from 32 surveillance agencies and water suppliers in seven sub-Saharan African countries, we determined the degree to which water sources were monitored, how water quality varied by source type, and institutional responses to results. Sixty-four percent of the water samples were collected from piped supplies, although the majority of Africans rely on nonpiped sources. Piped supplies had the lowest levels of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) compared to any other source type: only 4% of samples of water piped to plots and 2% of samples from water piped to public taps/standpipes were positive for FIB (n = 14948 and n = 12278, respectively). Among other types of improved sources, samples from harvested rainwater and boreholes were less often positive for FIB (22%, n = 167 and 31%, n = 3329, respectively) than protected springs or protected dug wells (39%, n = 472 and 65%, n = 505). When data from different settings were aggregated, the FIB levels in different source types broadly reflected the source-type water safety framework used by the Joint Monitoring Programme. However, the insufficient testing of nonpiped sources relative to their use indicates important gaps in current assessments. Our results emphasize the importance of local data collection for water safety management and measurement of progress toward universal safe drinking water access.


PubMed | The Aquaya Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health | Year: 2015

Water quality monitoring is important for identifying public health risks and ensuring water safety. However, even when water sources are tested, many institutions struggle to access data for immediate action or long-term decision-making. We analyzed water testing structures among 26 regulated water suppliers and public health surveillance agencies across six African countries and identified four water quality data management typologies. Within each typology, we then analyzed the potential for information and communication technology (ICT) tools to facilitate water quality information flows. A consistent feature of all four typologies was that testing activities occurred in laboratories or offices, not at water sources; therefore, mobile phone-based data management may be most beneficial for institutions that collect data from multiple remote laboratories. We implemented a mobile phone application to facilitate water quality data collection within the national public health agency in Senegal, Service National de lHygine. Our results indicate that using the phones to transmit more than just water quality data will likely improve the effectiveness and sustainability of this type of intervention. We conclude that an assessment of program structure, particularly its data flows, provides a sound starting point for understanding the extent to which ICTs might strengthen water quality monitoring efforts.

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