Investigating the effect of water storage facilities onto the water quality.
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Waterborne diseases kill a large number of people in middle and low-income countries on a daily basis. Worldwide, there is an increased use of the indirect type of water supply which involves the use of water storage facilities. This is because a constant supply from the water mains is not assured especially in the developing countries, but in periods of peak demand or scarcity, water storage facilities can be a reliable source of water. This study investigated the different features of a water storage facility and their relationship with the water inflow and outflow parameters. It involved collection of water samples from different plastic water storage tanks. Samples collected and analyzed were tested for parameters which included; pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, nitrates, phosphorus and E. coli. Questionnaires and observation checklists were used to collected data on the features of the water storage tanks. The study revealed that there is a significant relationship between the water quality and the cleaning frequency for the pH parameter. E. coli concentrations were observed to be high in water storage tanks that had never been cleaned. There was also a significant relationship between the water quality and the storage tank water retention period. Other factors such as the storage tank covering were also found to affect the water quality. Most of the samples were bacteriologically contaminated. The study also discovered presence of E. coli in water inflow which poses an interesting further research that should be done to find out whether contamination occurs within the distribution systems.