Microbiological and Chemical Quality of Packaged Sachet Water and Household Stored Drinking Water in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Water in plastic bags (sachets) is widely consumed in sub-Saharan Africa, yet few rigorous studies have investigated the quality of sachet water in comparison to alternative sources of water. In PLoS One, we assessed the quality of packaged sachet water (PSW) in Freetown, Sierra Leone and found that while 19% of samples contained detectable E. coli, samples of stored household water for consumption were significantly more contaminated than PSW samples. We conclude that while PSW products clearly need to be better regulated and monitored, they may be safer than alternative water sources.

Fisher, Michael B., Ashley R. Williams, Mohamed F. Jalloh, George Saquee, Robert E. S. Bain, and Jamie Bartram. 2015. “Microbiological and Chemical Quality of Packaged Sachet Water and Household Stored Drinking Water in Freetown, Sierra Leone.” PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131772. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131772.