Dr Anthony Duah, a Senior Water Research Scientist, has appealed to Ghanaians to ensure that water from hand dug wells, and boreholes are tested before use.
Testing water quality at the laboratory, he said, was necessary to prevent the consumption of water contaminated by surface activities or groundwater that had dissolved unwholesome minerals such as arsenic, iron, salt, and fluoride.
Dr Duah, who is the head of Groundwater Division at the CSIR-Water Research Institute, also recommended that borehole meant for domestic use should be tested within a 6-month period while that meant for commercial use should be tested quarterly.
“Ghana Water Company has testing centres across the country. Please try as much as possible to test because if we don’t know what is in there, there is no way we can give you a good advice to make sure water is safe for use,” he said.
He was speaking at an event organised by the Water Resource Commission to mark the World Water Day which was held on the theme, “Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible”.
Dr Bob Alfa, Director of Planning at the Water Resource Commission, warned against engaging the service of unqualified drillers who might short-change clients and make them liable for prosecution.
He said it was important for the public to engage the service of licensed drillers who could guarantee safe water, enable the Commission gather data and have activities regulated, hence operate in an environmentally friendly manner.
“It is an offence to work as or engage an unlicensed driller which is punishable by law”
As at the end of 2021, Dr Alfa indicated that there were over 200 companies with the expertise to engage in sustainable drilling of borehole.
Within the same period, he said, an operation in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service was carried out where some individuals were arrested and fined up to GH₵60,000.
While users may not be required to have license to own a borehole, he emphasised and stressed the need for the registration of borehole with the Commission to enable data capturing.
“Owners of commercial boreholes may however be required to have water use permit” he said.
Mr Samuel Amoako-Mensah, a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist, called for intervention to improve the safety of groundwater which he said had negatively been affected quality wise due to surface activities.
“There is an interaction between surface water and ground water. Ground water is what replenishes surface water when the dry seasons come so we have to start thinking about what we are doing to the surface water and how it is impacting the groundwater,” he said.