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Assessment of the quality of sachet water consumed in urban townships of Ghana using physico-chemical indicators: A preliminary study

This research was carried out to assess the quality of sachet water vended in some urban towns of Ghana. Thirtyeight brands of sachet water vended by street sellers in Odumase-Krobo, Nsawam townships and Accra Metropolis were assessed for their physical and chemical parameters using standard methods. Physical parameters such as pH, total dissolved solids, total hardness, turbidity and conductivity were determined by instrumental methods. Chemical characteristics measured included Na, K, SO4 2-, Cl-, Mg, PO4 3-, HCO3 -, Cu, Cr and Pb. Na and K were determined using a Sherwood flame photometer. Cl- and HCO3 - were determined by standard titrimetric methods. SO42-, PO43-, and NO3- were determined by UV- spectrophotometric method. Cu, Cr and Pb was determined in the dissolved form using atomic absorption spectrometry technique in an air-acetylene flame. Physical examinations was also carried out on some samples to ascertain whether sachet water sold on the market bore Ghana Food and Drugs Board registration number and met product labelling requirements. The data showed variations in some investigated parameters as follows: pH 5.55-7.22, electrical conductivity 3.84-410μS/cm, Pb BDL-0.221 mg/L SO42- <0.001- 30.33mg/L, TDS 1.40-202.0mg/L, turbidity 0-3mg/L, bicarbonate 2.44-60.96mg/L, Na 1.3-76.1mg/L, K 0-10.0mg/L. The concentrations of copper and chromium were below detectable limits, while lead levels exceeded the WHO guideline value for majority of the samples (68%).

Author(s): M. Ackah1, A. K. Anim, E. T. Gyamfi, J. Acquah, E. S. Nyarko, L. Kpattah, S. E. Brown, J. E. K. Hanson, J. R. Fianko, N. Zakaria

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