Research Article: Microbiological assessment of sachet water “pure water” from five regions in Ghana

Date Published: January 24, 2019

Publisher: F1000 Research Limited

Author(s): Lydia Mosi, Samuel Mawuli Adadey, Sandra Akoley Sowah, Charles Yeboah.


Background: Sachet water, popularly known as “pure water” has become an invaluable entity in most Ghanaian households. Despite its importance, there is no extensive nationwide investigations on its wholesomeness for consumption. The aim of this study was to determine the microbiological quality of 41 brands of sachet water sampled in 16 districts across 5 regions in Ghana.

Partial Text

Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL)

The occurrence of packaging water into sachets popularly referred to as “pure water” is one of the most lucrative business ventures in some West African countries including Ghana
1. This business has gained much popularity and acceptance among the Ghanaian populace particularly because in the past, drinking water was sold in cups and plastic bags hand-tied at one end; a practice which was faced with a lot of sanitary issues
2. Currently, the exact numbers of sachet water companies is unknown, as new ones spring up almost daily. There are more unregistered producers than registered ones, with the current estimate of registered producers reaching 3,000

The study of the microbiological quality of sachet water has been a topic of interest to researchers since mid-1990s
14. Nonetheless, publications on the microbial content of sachet water are still scarce, with only a few studies having a large sample size and are not representative of a nationwide study. Our study collected branded sachet water samples from 41 communities within 5 regions in Ghana to provide a better representation of the microbial water quality across the nation.

The study identified microbial contamination; most alarming being contamination with
E. coli in sachet water sampled in five regions across Ghana. As far as microbiological quality is concerned, sachet water has not yet attained levels that make it absolutely pure and wholesome for consumption.

There are two main regulatory bodies in Ghana that are responsible for the regulation of companies that produce drinking water. Ghana Food and Drugs Authority ( which provides operational guidelines including codes of practice and good manufacturing practices for food, drug and other related manufacturing companies. The second regulatory body is Ghana Standards Authority ( which has the vision of contributing towards growth of industry, protect consumers and facilitate trade through standardization, metrology and conformity assessment. These two regulatory ensure that drinking water producers meet all requirements for production before a permit is given. The regulatory bodies also have Quality Assessment departments that are responsible for quality check of licensed products including water. All the above efforts are towards the production of safe products for customer consumption.

Underlying data for this study is available from Open Science Framework: Dataset 1. Microbiological assessment of sachet water “pure water” from five regions in Ghana. under a CC0 1.0 Universal license




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