Water supports life at microscopic and macroscopic levels. Good quality water is essential to economic and social growth of a community and a nation at large. Bangwe township in Blantyre is one of the closest townships to the city and provides a reliable workforce and supply of consumables to the city. Due to its overcrowding, there are a lot of issues to do with illnesses that arise from contamination of portable water. They have water resource points that they share communally, apart from others that have their own individual source points. This work aimed at assessing the quality of the most communally shared water points in Lilaka, Mvula, Chikunda, Namiyango and Ntopwa 2 areas of the township. Three major water source points (tap water kiosks, boreholes and water wells) from each community were selected for the study and samples from these sources were analyzed for conductivity, pH levels, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids, turbidity, fecal coliforms, lead and iron. The results showed that the water from these communal water source points are highly contaminated with a F. coliform maximum record of 350.00±0.03 cfu/100 ml in Chikunda area and of not pleasant organoleptic characteristics which risk the health of the consumers. This work recommends that authorities should plan to intensify monitoring of water from these sources, inspections and preventive maintenance of boreholes and tap water plumbing systems to check the quality and safety of the water and replace any damaged systems or parts thereof.
Key words: Water quality, water safety, contamination, water points, portable water.
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