The effect of an educational intervention on the microbiological quality of water stored on households

Nala, N. P., Jagals, P. and Joubert, G. (2003) The effect of an educational intervention on the microbiological quality of water stored on households. Water SA, 29 2: 171-176.

Author Nala, N. P.
Jagals, P.
Joubert, G.
Title The effect of an educational intervention on the microbiological quality of water stored on households
Journal name Water SA   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1816-7950
Publication date 2003-04-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 29
Issue 2
Start page 171
End page 176
Total pages 6
Place of publication Gezina, 0031 South Africa
Publisher Water Research Commission
Language eng
Abstract This study investigated whether a water-handling hygiene education programme could improve the health-related microbiological quality of container water stored and used in households in a dense urban settlement in the Free State Province. Previous studies in the area indicated that stored container water became contaminated during the process of fetching from communal standpipes and then storing and handling the water at home, which exposed the study population to a potential risk of microbiological infection. A water-hygiene education programme was implemented together with a health-related microbiological water quality assessment programme. Members of selected households participated in a series of domestic water-handling hygiene education training sessions over a period of eight months and the quality of their stored water monitored for improvement in tandem over the same period. The results were compared to those of similar tests done during previous studies in the same area. Turbidity, heterotrophic bacteria numbers and total coliform bacteria were used as indicators of general microbial water quality while E. coli bacteria were used to indicate faecal pollution. While the results generally reflected significant improvements for all the indicators from the previous studies, a potential risk of infection was still indicated for consumers. Based on education programme attendance profile, the study sample was divided into frequent, intermittent and never groups. No signficant changes were found in water quality between the three groups, even though the frequent group attended most of the training sessions. This implies that the programme did not have a particular influence on any one group. Container-stored water was still being contaminated in the domestic environment despite the water-handling hygiene education programme. An improved hygiene-education programme appears to be needed to change deep-rooted inherent behaviours such as hand- washing prior to water handling as well as proper protection of container-stored water from environmental contamination.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 24 Jan 2012, 23:04:18 EST by Geraldine Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Public Health