Water related diseases continue to be one of the major health problems globally.
It is rather sad that most water consumers are frequently unaware of the potential health risk associated with water-borne contaminants especially with drinking water.
Drinking of poor quality water often trigger diseases like diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, and many others.
Taking clean and quality water is a basic requirement for life nonetheless because water taste good and is safe for drinking in the eyes does not necessarily make it healthy.
Water is not an alternative but a necessity and we may have choices for different types of food but there is not yet an alternative for water.
Drinking water or potable water is water that is considered safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of short term or long harm.
Unfortunately, in most developing countries regular supply of safe drinking water is a problem and in most cases do not meet the drinking water standards.
There are many health issues that can be traced to poor quality of drinking water in many homes.
Access to piped water in urban centres in Ghana and many Africa countries is a major problem.
Many people therefore resort to water from other sources such as boreholes, wells, and in recent years, the most popular source of drinking being is sachet or pure water as popularly called.
The high price of quality bottled water with proper standards has limited the patronage and made the sachet water the popular choice.
The perception initially is that sachet water is of higher quality and standard than the treated water from the Ghana water company.
This perception has led to higher patronage of sachet water as the most utilized sources of drinking water in urban areas in Ghana.
Many studies have proven that water related diseases continue to be on the rise which makes it prudent for one to get the needed knowledge and how to find answers to resolve it.
The integrity of hygienic environment and conditions where majority of sachet water are produced has been questioned. The Ghana water company some years back questioned and indicated that “more than 90 percent of sachet water producers use water from GWCL and they rather devalue the water because of the conditions under which most of them are produced which is rather pathetic”.
Most of them only filter the water and package them into the sachet rubbers. It is a lucrative business for some people who only care for their profit and not our well-being. The law enforcement agencies sometimes are slow to act and do regular checks on the producers. Knowing the source of the sachet water you patronize whether is a trusted source is your first exit out of a potential water related problems.
Again, research has proven over time, that the quality of sachet water may decline with poor storage conditions. The plastic bags used in bagging the water if not kept under hygienic conditions can grow mouldy before use. Additionally, storage of the sachet water over long periods of time increase microbial count or load which several studies has identified potential harmful bacterial in most sachet water products.
It is therefore recommended that a maximum of one week should be enough and longer storage period more than that the quality of the water begin to decline.
It is also proven that exposure of sachet water to higher temperatures by vendors and producers who pack them outside on the sun for longer periods also affect the quality of the the water.
Some of the sachet water producers use their own sources of water from dug wells and other sources which don’t have the time and required knowledge on standard drinking water parameters such as pH, and others to make sure the final product for the consumer is safe.
Some vendors which mostly are teenagers who may not regularly practice washing of hands sell the product by roadside and in traffic and can potentially transfer harmful bacterias.
A research in Kumasi by Addo et al. 2016, on the microbiological quality of street sold water has shown that the quality of factory bagged sachet drinking water in Kumasi metropolis sold on the street are contaminated with varying microbial numbers due to the handling practices of vendors and concluded that storing bagged sachet water over long periods of time especially in normal atmospheric and room temperatures increases the level of microorganisms in them making them unsuitable for consumption and sale to the general public.
Get trusted sources of sachet drinking water and ensure that storage conditions are safe. The FDA can also the nation much good if they periodically visit some of these sachet water companies to access the quality of water they supply to the consumers.