An Epidemiological Survey of Non-municipal Drinking Water Supplies Among Rural Communities in the Blue and John Crow Mountain Ranges, Jamaica, December 2021- June 2022

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.10.04.Art022

Authors : Karlene Atkinson


The unavailability of safe running water is a major problem faced by many residents of rural Jamaica; the use of unsafe drinking water for domestic purposes is also a major public health challenge in developing countries due its contribution to the global burden of disease reported annually. The aim of the research was to assess the microbiological and physiochemical quality parameters of non-municipal drinking water from springs and tributaries within the Blue and John Crow mountains. The study methodology used was sampling through field work and laboratory testing for microbiological water quality parameters using standard procedures. The research is a cross-sectional survey that was conducted over a seven-month period. Fourteen samples of water were collected from the water sources and in the homes of the residents. Five water parameters were assessed against national and internal water quality index. In one hundred percent of the samples the total coliforms levels exceeded the established safe limit as established by the Ministry of Health Jamaica. The initial hypothesis of the research was supported by the findings. The consumption and use of non-municipal water throughout the communities of the Blue and John Crow Mountain bears a significant risk for public health.

Keywords: Unsafe drinking water, Rural communities, Potable water, Water quality index.


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