Deterioration in water quality from supply chain to household and appropriate storage in the context of intermittent water supplies

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Many water providers in urban developing country contexts have to supply the water intermittently due to the disparity between rapidly growing demand and investment in supply infrastructure. This can lead to water quality risks such as ingress of polluted groundwater and unsafe household storage. This study has investigated the common risks and possible alternative solutions down the supply chain in the Nagpur municipal piped network through quantitative and qualitative data collection. The water quality testing indicated a significant reduction in water quality between tap and point-of-use. Interviews and a sanitary survey indicated storage design, inappropriate extraction practice and children's access as the most frequent household storage risks. The people with socio-economically lower status were found to be in greatest need of interventions. The study leads to the following recommendations: there is a need for the evolution of a Water Safety Plan to enable supportive structures for good risk assessment which includes all stakeholders from source to point-of-use; community awareness of water quality risks needs to be raised; low cost ‘improved’ water storage at household level should be promoted; and the levels of residual chlorine should be investigated and adjustments made to assure potable water at point-of-use.

Keywords: intermittent supply, water quality, Water Safety Plan

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