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Basic sanitary conditions in Iporanga, São Paulo State, Brazil

Leandro Luiz Giatti, Aristides Almeida Rocha, Francisca Alzira dos Santos, Selma Cristina Bitencourt, Susana Rodrigues de Melo Pieroni

Abstract


OBJECTIVE: To assess the pollution of water bodies by domestic sewage and to evaluate the basic sanitation conditions of residences and the knowledge of the local population concerning intestinal parasitic diseases and the hazards they present to public health. METHODS: Thirteen water samples were collected from each of four sites in different water bodies of the Bairro da Serra region, in Iporanga, São Paulo State. Rates of total and fecal coliforms were measured and median values were presented so as to show domestic sewage contamination in the area. Questionnaires were administered to 50% of local households in order to obtain information on water supply and disposal of domestic sewage and solid waste, and to evaluate knowledge of the transmission, health hazards, and prevention of intestinal parasitic diseases among the local population. RESULTS: The Betari river showed microbiological indexes indicative of pollution by domestic sewage. Higher levels were verified both upstream and downstream from the Bairro da Serra. Median values were even higher in two of the river's tributary streams, indicating strong pollution by domestic sewage and lack of conformity with current legislation. In 91% of the households investigated, sewage disposal was done by means of septic tanks, most of which were rudimentary and contributed to the contamination of the environment. The knowledge of 62% of interviewed subjects concerning the transmission of helminthic diseases was considered as poor. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate a risk of proliferation of intestinal parasitoses and of other water-transmitted diseases, an issue which is aggravated by increases in population caused by the region's vocation for ecotourism.

Keywords


Sanitary profiles;Basic sanitation;Water pollution;Domestic effluents;Solid wastes;Health knowledge, attitudes, practice



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102004000400014

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