Environmental Factors and the Microbial Quality of Urban Drinking Water in a Low-Income Country: The Case of Madagascar

Abstract : Access to piped water is often limited to urban areas in low-income countries, and the microbiological quality of drinking water varies due to technical and environmental constraints. To analyse the parameters that modulate the contamination of these systems, this study examines 16 years of microbial quality data for water supplied in 32 urban areas of Madagascar. A discriminant statistical approach and agglomerative hierarchical clusters were applied to environmental and climatic data. The microbial contamination varied between sites from 3.3 to 17.5%, and 78% of the supply systems showed large variations between years or months. Agglomerative hierarchical clusters (AHCs) revealed four supply system profiles that share a similar bacteriological evolution. Heavy rainfall and dry periods sustained increasing contamination, as reflected in levels of spores of sulphite-reducing clostridia (SSRC) and/or total coliforms (TC). SSRC were dominant in three profiles, with faecal indicator bacteria (FIB) dominant in the other. Principal component analysis demonstrated the main drivers of contamination: type of water source, implemented treatment, location of the site, population growth, lack of protection, agriculture, urbanization/sanitation, and flooding threats. Contamination increased over the 16-year period, reaching alarming levels. The protection of water sources should be a concern for public authorities.
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Alexandra Bastaraud, Jean Rakotondramanga, Jackson Mahazosaotra, Noror Ravaonindrina, Ronan Jambou. Environmental Factors and the Microbial Quality of Urban Drinking Water in a Low-Income Country: The Case of Madagascar. Water, MDPI, 2018, 10 (10), pp.1450. ⟨10.3390/w10101450⟩. ⟨pasteur-01966447⟩

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