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Characteristics of packaged water production facilities in Greater Accra, Ghana: implications for water safety and associated environmental impacts

Characteristics of packaged water production facilities in Greater Accra, Ghana: implications for water safety and associated environmental impacts
Characteristics of packaged water production facilities in Greater Accra, Ghana: implications for water safety and associated environmental impacts
Packaged water (sold in bags or bottles) is widely consumed in many countries and is the main drinking-water source for most urban Ghanaian households. There are however few studies of packaged water production. This study aims to assess the source water, treatment and manufacturing characteristics of sachet water (vended in 500ml plastic bags), together with point-of-manufacture risks to hygienic production. A sample of 90 sachets was collected of brands sold in four neighbourhoods in Accra, Ghana, their packaging and physical characteristics recorded, and a risk score calculated from these. Production processes were observed at 60 associated sachet factories, producers interviewed, and surrounding neighbourhoods surveyed for contamination hazards. 80% of producers packaged groundwater from boreholes and all treated water via reverse osmosis. Almost all manufacturers (95%) reported site visits by regulators in the previous year and few risks to hygienic production were observed at factories. Sanitary risk scores were 9.2% higher at the seven factories never visited by a regulator, though this difference was not significant (t=1.81; p=0.07). This survey suggests most Ghanaian sachet water originates from groundwater and is comparatively safe, though a minority remains unregulated. Groundwater governance policy could support this industry in meeting Greater Accra’s growing water demand through the designation of protected municipal wellfields.
Groundwater, Packaged water, Urbanisation, Water pollution, Water safety
2408-9362
146-156
Semey, Maxwell
ffdbce69-b256-4aad-bcb9-0c4d4db3b081
Dotse-Gborgbortsi, Winfred, Worlanyo
11fe21e7-431a-442b-a8c7-6a7cb05176d9
Dzodzomenyo, Mawuli
b3bafe27-4542-4ece-a82a-4717a72df187
Wright, James
94990ecf-f8dd-4649-84f2-b28bf272e464
Semey, Maxwell
ffdbce69-b256-4aad-bcb9-0c4d4db3b081
Dotse-Gborgbortsi, Winfred, Worlanyo
11fe21e7-431a-442b-a8c7-6a7cb05176d9
Dzodzomenyo, Mawuli
b3bafe27-4542-4ece-a82a-4717a72df187
Wright, James
94990ecf-f8dd-4649-84f2-b28bf272e464

Semey, Maxwell, Dotse-Gborgbortsi, Winfred, Worlanyo, Dzodzomenyo, Mawuli and Wright, James (2020) Characteristics of packaged water production facilities in Greater Accra, Ghana: implications for water safety and associated environmental impacts. Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 10 (1), 146-156. (doi:10.2166/washdev.2020.110).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Packaged water (sold in bags or bottles) is widely consumed in many countries and is the main drinking-water source for most urban Ghanaian households. There are however few studies of packaged water production. This study aims to assess the source water, treatment and manufacturing characteristics of sachet water (vended in 500ml plastic bags), together with point-of-manufacture risks to hygienic production. A sample of 90 sachets was collected of brands sold in four neighbourhoods in Accra, Ghana, their packaging and physical characteristics recorded, and a risk score calculated from these. Production processes were observed at 60 associated sachet factories, producers interviewed, and surrounding neighbourhoods surveyed for contamination hazards. 80% of producers packaged groundwater from boreholes and all treated water via reverse osmosis. Almost all manufacturers (95%) reported site visits by regulators in the previous year and few risks to hygienic production were observed at factories. Sanitary risk scores were 9.2% higher at the seven factories never visited by a regulator, though this difference was not significant (t=1.81; p=0.07). This survey suggests most Ghanaian sachet water originates from groundwater and is comparatively safe, though a minority remains unregulated. Groundwater governance policy could support this industry in meeting Greater Accra’s growing water demand through the designation of protected municipal wellfields.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 December 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 February 2020
Keywords: Groundwater, Packaged water, Urbanisation, Water pollution, Water safety

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437838
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437838
ISSN: 2408-9362
PURE UUID: 09ad46f3-9e30-4390-870a-77790c601cea
ORCID for Winfred, Worlanyo Dotse-Gborgbortsi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7627-1809
ORCID for James Wright: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8842-2181

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Feb 2020 17:32
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 03:20

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Contributors

Author: Maxwell Semey
Author: Mawuli Dzodzomenyo
Author: James Wright ORCID iD

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