The quality of irrigation water from different sources used by urban farmers in the Accra Metropolis was investigated. These were, tap water stored in dugout, surface water (from stream) and wastewater in drains. The samples were analysed for their bacteriological, physical and chemical qualities using standard methods. Analytical Profile Index (API) identification system was used to characterize and identify the bacterial species isolated in the samples. The results showed that heavy metal concentrations in the samples were within the FAO/WHO recommended limits for irrigation. The concentrations of highly toxic Lead and Cadmium were even below detection limit. Total and faecal coliform bacteria loads in all three potential irrigation water sources were above the WHO recommended limit for irrigation. Different bacteria species belonging to seven genera were identified in the three irrigation water sources. These included Citrobacter, Chryseomonas, Enterobacter, Klebseila, Proteus, Providencia, Pseudomonas. Generally, the most dominant bacterial species were Pseudomonasaeruginosa and Chryseomonasluteola. Some of these bacteria spp. can pose a health threat to farmers especially those who have challenges with their health and immune system. For example, infection with some of the bacteria species such as Pseudomonasaeruginosa in patients with cystic fibrosis is known to be deadly over periods of time.
B. Keraita, P. Dreschsel, and P. Amoah, “Influence of Urban Wastewater on Stream Water Quality and Agriculture in and around Kumasi, Ghana,” Environment & Urbanization, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2003, pp. 171-178.
I. Hussain, L. Raschid, M. Hanjra, F. Marikar and W. van der Hoek, “Framework for Analyzing Socioeconomic, Health and Environmental Impacts of Wastewater Use in Agriculture in Developing Countries,” Working Paper 26. International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2001, 31 p.
G. B. Shende, “Status of Wastewater Treatment and Agricultural Reuse with Special Reference to India and Research and Development Needs,” In: M. B. Pescod and A. Arar, Eds., Treatment and Use of Sewage Effluent for Irrigation, Butterworths, London, 1985, pp. 185-209.
E. Obuobie, B. Keraita, G. Danso, P. Amoah, O. O. Cofie, L. Raschid-Sally and P. Drechsel, “Irrigation Urban Vegetable Production in Ghana: Characteristics, Benefits and Risks,” IWMI-RUAF-CPWF, IWMI, Accra, Ghana, 2006, p. 150.
P. Amoah, “Wastewater Irrigated Vegetable Production: Contamination Pathway for Health Risk Reduction in Accra, Kumasi and Temale-Ghana,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, 2008, pp. 74-75.
P. Ghesquiere, “Indirect Wastewater Reuse for Peri-Ur ban Irrigation in Kumasi, Ghana. Assessment of Surface Water Quality for Irrigation and Its Implications for Human Health,” Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of a Diploma in Water & Environment, ENGEES, Strasbourg, 1999.
G. A. Cornish, E. Mensah and P. Ghesquire, “Water Quality and Peri-Urban Irrigation: An Assessment of Surface Water Quality for Irrigation and Its Implications for Human Health in the Peri-Urban Zone of Kumasi, Ghana,” Report OD/TN 95, September 1999, HR Wallingford Ltd., Wallingford, 44 p.
R. C. Abaidoo, B. Keraita, P. Amoah, P. Drechsel, J. Bakang, G. Kranjec-Berisavljevic, F. Konradsen, W. Agyekum and A. Klutse, “Safeguading Public Health Concerns, Livelihoods and Productivity in Wastewater Irrigated Urban and Peri urban Vegetable Farming,” CPWF PN 38 Project Report, Kumasi, 2011.
P. Amoah, P. Drechsel and R. C. Abaidoo, “Irrigated Urban Vegetable Producyion in Ghana: Sources of Pathogen Contamination and Health Risk Elimination,” Irrigation and Drainage, Vol. 54, No. S1, 2005, pp. S49 S61. doi:10.1002/ird.185
P. Drechsel, R. C. Abaidoo, P. Amoah and O. O. Cofie, “Increasing Use of Poultry Manure in and around Kumasi, Ghana: Is Farmers’ Race Consumers’ Fate?” Urban Agriculture Magazine, Vol. 2, 2000, pp. 25-27.
P. Mensah, M. Armar-Klemesu, A. S. Hammond, A. Haruna and R. Nyarko, “Bacterial Contamination in Lettuce, Tomatoes, Beef and Goat Meat from the Accra Metropolis,” Ghana Medical Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2001, pp. 162-167.
J. Freney, W. Hansen, J. Etienne, F. Vandenesch and J. Fleurette, “Postoperative Infant Septicemia Caused by Pseudomonas Luteola (CDC group Ve-1) and Pseudo monas Oryzihabitans (CDC group Ve-2),” Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Vol. 26, 1988, pp. 1241-1243.
W. Chihab, A. S. Alaoui and M. Amar, “Chryseomonas luteola as the Source of Serious Infections in Moroccan University Hospitals,” Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Vol. 42, No. 4, 2004, pp. 1837-1839.
M. R. Silver, T. P. Felegie and M. I. Sorkin, “Unusual Bacterium, Group Ve-2, Causing Peritonitis in a Patient on Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis,” Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Vol. 21, 1985, pp. 838-839.