Provision of safe domestic water for the promotion and protection of public health: a case study of the city of Beirut, Lebanon
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Securing adequate safe drinking water and proper sanitation is a major challenge facing the developing world. The “Water for Life Decade” emphasizes the importance of upgrading national water quality and sanitation services. This study assessed the domestic water profile in the city of Beirut. Samples were collected from three types of household water sources (municipality, private wells, and vended water bottles) and assessed for their physiochemical and microbiological profile. At the same time, a cross-sectional survey assessing water consumption patterns and the prevalence of water-borne diseases was conducted. The results showed a deficient water quality profile in all three water sources. The measured physiochemical and bacteriological parameters reflected the high frequency of water-borne diseases. Action to secure a safe domestic water supply is essential. The plan should guarantee the protection of water sources, ensure sufficient treatment of domestic water and upgrade the national program for potable water quality control. Periodic quality monitoring and legislating the chaotic water-vending sector are indispensable. Additionally, the deterioration of private well sources by sea and wastewater infiltration necessitates the enforcement of legislation associated with the use and management of private wells. Consumer awareness and active contributions to promote and protect public health are important.
KeywordsMajor water ions Bacteriological quality Groundwater Municipality water Vending water Water-borne diseases Intervention plan Lebanon
This study was supported by the University Research Council, Lebanese American University, under contract nos. URC-c2006-02, URC-F2006-21 and URC-t2007-26 and the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research (CNRSL).
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