Rubino F, Corona Y, Pérez JGJ, Smith C. Bacterial Contamination of Drinking Water in Guadalajara, Mexico. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2018 Dec 27;16(1). pii: E67. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16010067.
In many regions where drinking water supply is intermittent and unreliable, households adapt by storing water in cisterns or rooftop tanks. Both intermittent supply and stored water can be vulnerable to contamination by microorganisms with deleterious health effects. The Metropolitan Zone of Guadalajara is a rapidly growing urban center with over five million residents where household storage is nearly ubiquitous. This pilot study was conducted in July 2018 to examine the microbiological quality of drinking water in Guadalajara. Samples were tested for free available chlorine residual, total coliform bacteria, and Escherichia coli. A survey on access to water and public perspectives was also conducted. Water exiting rooftop tanks exceeded regulatory limits for total coliform levels in half of the homes studied. Piped water arriving at two homes had total coliform levels that far exceeded regulatory limits. No E. coli were detected in any of the samples. Only 35% of homes had a chlorine residual between the recommended 0.2 and 1.5 mg/L. Many homes reported unpleasant odors and colors. Only 7% of residents drank the piped water. Future studies are needed, especially during April and May when many homes reported a higher disruption to water service.