Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Sciences (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Advisor 1

Casey Huckins

Committee Member 1

Mark Rouleau

Committee Member 2

Dave Watkins


Hundreds of thousands throughout the Kolda region in southern Senegal rely on potentially contaminated well water as their drinking source. Chemical treatment of the water using a small amount of chlorine bleach has been shown to increase its safety for human consumption; however, the vast majority of people in the region do not disinfect water before they drink it. In this study, 97 individuals (47 water Treaters and 51 Non-Treaters) were surveyed on motivations and barriers towards bleaching or not bleaching their water, and microbiological field testing was undertaken to examine the effectiveness of treatment in the field. The microbial tests showed treated water was significantly less contaminated than untreated water in both coliform and Escherichia coli counts. Due to the efficacy of the method, continuation of the promotion of chemical drinking water treatment is recommended. Ten recommendations for future water treatment interventions in Kolda are provided in the discussion of this report. These recommendations were derived from survey results as well as from the available literature on the topic.