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The Quality and Health Implications of Urban Irrigation Water Used for Vegetable Production in the Accra Metropolis

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Author(s): Mark O. Akrong | Seth K. A. Danso | Joseph A. Ampofo

Journal: Journal of Environmental Protection
ISSN 2152-2197

Volume: 03;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 1509;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Irrigation Water | Coliform Bacteria | Enterobacteriaceae Heavy Metal

ABSTRACT
The quality of irrigation water from different sources used by urban farmers in the Accra Metropolis was investigated. These were, tap water stored in dugout, surface water (from stream) and wastewater in drains. The samples were analysed for their bacteriological, physical and chemical qualities using standard methods. Analytical Profile Index (API) identification system was used to characterize and identify the bacterial species isolated in the samples. The results showed that heavy metal concentrations in the samples were within the FAO/WHO recommended limits for irrigation. The concentrations of highly toxic Lead and Cadmium were even below detection limit. Total and faecal coliform bacteria loads in all three potential irrigation water sources were above the WHO recommended limit for irrigation. Different bacteria species belonging to seven genera were identified in the three irrigation water sources. These included Citrobacter, Chryseomonas, Enterobacter, Klebseila, Proteus, Providencia, Pseudomonas. Generally, the most dominant bacterial species were Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chryseomonas luteola. Some of these bacteria spp. can pose a health threat to farmers especially those who have challenges with their health and immune system. For example, infection with some of the bacteria species such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa in patients with cystic fibrosis is known to be deadly over periods of time.
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