Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Kurtis G. Paterson


Ensuring water is safe at source and point-of-use is important in areas of the world where drinking water is collected from communal supplies. This report describes a study in rural Mali to determine the appropriateness of assumptions common among development organizations that drinking water will remain safe at point-of-use if collected from a safe (improved) source. Water was collected from ten sources (borehole wells with hand pumps, and hand-dug wells) and forty-five households using water from each source type. Water quality was evaluated seasonally (quarterly) for levels of total coliform, E.coli, and turbidity. Microbial testing was done using the 3M Petrifilm™ method. Turbidity testing was done using a turbidity tube. Microbial testing results were analyzed using statistical tests including Kruskal-Wallis, Mann Whitney, and analysis of variance. Results show that water from hand pumps did not contain total coliform or E.coli and had turbidity under 5 NTUs, whereas water from dug wells had high levels of bacteria and turbidity. However water at point-of-use (household) from hand pumps showed microbial contamination - at times being indistinguishable from households using dug wells - indicating a decline in water quality from source to point-of-use. Chemical treatment at point-of-use is suggested as an appropriate solution to eliminating any post-source contamination. Additionally, it is recommended that future work be done to modify existing water development strategies to consider water quality at point-of-use.