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Physicochemical and Microbiological Quality of Shallow Groundwater in Lomé, Togo

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Document pages: 18 pages

Abstract: The present study aimed to assess the physicochemical and microbiological quality of shallow groundwater tapped by private boreholes for water sale in Togo’s most urbanized coastal areas. Ninety-six (96) groundwater samples were collected at the water sale points for chemical and microbiological analyses using standard methods. The results showed that groundwater is predominantly acidic with fresh and brackish water of Na-Cl type. High concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (NO3- , NH4+and NO2-) and permanganate indices indicating potential organic matter were found. Among the major ions, Na+ (46.9 ), Cl- (51.0 ) and NO3- (50.0 ) present the highest percentages of unsuitable concentrations compared to WHO guidelines. These findings indicate the control of the natural impact of seawater and lagoon system and anthropogenic pollution from domestic and urban wastes on groundwater’s physicochemical quality. About 65 of groundwater samples did not comply with the drinking water guidelines for microbial indicators, including total mesophilic flora, thermotolerant coliforms, and sulfite-reducing anaerobes. The results showed the failure of sanitation and hygiene conditions around sampling points and fecal contamination from sewage, pit latrines, septic tanks, and refuse and waste disposal. The degradation of physicochemical quality is higher in the old and high-density built-up areas. Simultaneously, microbial contamination represents a high risk of contracting waterborne or hygiene-sanitation-related diseases in the whole study area. This study provides a global view of shallow groundwater’s physicochemical and microbiological quality in the study area. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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