Bacteriological quality of household drinking water and cholera risk in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana

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Anthony Zunuo Dongdem , Bismark Sarfo, Adolphina Addo-Lartey, David Nana Adjei, Gifty Boateng, Wisdom Takramah, Maxwel Afetor, Grace Ababio , Gideon Kye-Duodu, Benjamin Kwasi Offei, Seth Owusu-Agyei, Francis Anto



The bacteriological quality of drinking water plays a critical role in preventing waterborne diseases. In Ghana, there is water scarcity and many communities depend on contaminated water sources for their domestic use. This study aimed to assess the microbiological quality of household drinking water in both cholera endemic and non-endemic areas in Greater Accra Region.


A community-based cross-sectional survey was conducted among 432 randomly selected households. A total of 432 water samples were collected in both the wet and dry seasons from the households and an additional 48 from other water sources within the area studied. The membrane filtration technique was used for the quantification of total coliform counts, faecal coliform counts and vibrio counts. The bacteria were further identified and characterized. The Kruskal Wallis rank test was used to determine any significant variations in the means of the log-transformed bacteria counts among specific factor variables.


Household drinking water samples were contaminated with coliform counts exceeding the recommended zero colony-forming units per 100 ml standard in most communities across the cholera endemic and non-endemic areas. Vibrio counts were detected in all household water stored in vessels. Further characterization identified predominantly Klebsiella penumoniae and Escherichia coli. The coliform contamination levels were significantly higher in water stored in vessels compared to water directly obtained from the source. The contamination levels were generally higher during the wet season than the dry season.


The household stored drinking and direct source water were highly contaminated with coliform bacteria and a risk for transmission of pathogenic waterborne diseases. Therefore, the need to implement an effective water treatment strategy to improve on the quality of drinking water.



Public Health


Household water, contamination, coliform, cholera-risk, water source


Published: 2023-08-25 15:40

Last Updated: 2023-08-25 22:40


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Data Availability (Reason not available):
The raw data supporting the study could be made available by authors without any reservation.

Conflict of interest statement:
No competing interest