Assessment of domestic water quality in the peri-urban settlements of Lira Municipality, Lira District
Lira Municipality has had domestic water stress and poor sanitation due to the displacement of the rural community as a result of the 20 years LRA insurgency. This study was conducted to identify the major domestic water sources and distribution systems, assess their hygiene and sanitary conditions and examine their microbiological and physio-chemical qualities from springs, boreholes and NWSC taps in Adyel and Ojwina divisions of Lira municipality. Observations were made coupled with cross-sanitary risk assessments of sample springs, boreholes and taps in Adyel and Ojwina divisions. Lira municipality has NWSC network covering 70% and ground water sources (boreholes and springs) constituting 30% of the domestic water supply. However, less than 20 % of the peri-urban communities have access to NWSC tap water with over 60 % often using boreholes and springs. A total of 255 domestic water samples were collected from springs, boreholes and taps between August and December 2007 from sources, collection containers and household storage facilities, and analytical test were done for microbiological indicators and physio-chemical parameters. The range of qualitative risk scores varied between low (10 %) to high (80 %). Coliform counts for tap water samples (0.2 – 0.4 cfu/100ml) were contrary to WHO guidelines for treated drinking water (no coliforms should be detected in any 100ml sample) while coliform counts for springs and boreholes water samples varied between 0.75 – 3 cfu/100ml which is within acceptable limits of WHO guidelines (10cfu/100ml of all the samples taken). Variations in the mean total coliform counts were recorded at water sources (0.2 – 3 cfu/100ml), in containers (0.4 – 3.5 cfu/100ml) and in storage vessels (2.4 – 4.6 cfu/100ml). Nitrate concentration varied in springs (0.2 – 0.004mg/l), boreholes (0.01 – 0.04 mg/l) and taps (0.01 – 0.05 mg/l) respectively. ANOVA output indicate a significant variation (p value = 0.001) fo microbiological indicators between different domestic water sources and insignificant variation within domestic water sources (p-value = 0.52). a weak correlation (r=0.41) was observed between risk scores and mean total coliform counts. This assessment shows suitability of water for domestic use; however it does not ascertain safety.