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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


AMARAL, Luiz Augusto do et al. Drinking water in rural farms as a risk factor to human health. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.4, pp. 510-514. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the sanitary quality of drinking water in rural farms through counts of microbiological indicators. METHODS: A total of 180 drinking water samples from sources, reservoirs and water from site of consumption were collected in 30 rural farms located in the northeast region of the sate of São Paulo. The most probable number of total coliforms, Escherichia coli and mesophilic microorganisms were determined. Also, the presence of protection measures for water supplies wase verified. RESULTS: The study results showed that 90.0% of drinking water samples from sources, 90.0% from reservoirs, and 96.7% from sites of consumption, collected during the rainy season, and 83.3%, 96.7% and 90.0% of samples collected in dry season were below the quality control standards for drinking water. CONCLUSIONS: Drinking water in rural farms was considered a potential human health threat. Preventive measures for protecting water sources and water treatment are necessary to significantly reduce the occurrence of waterborne diseases.

Keywords : Drinking water [analysis]; Water microbiology; Rural areas; Reservoirs; Water resources.

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