Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
ROCHA, Christiane Maria Barcellos Magalhães da et al. Water quality evaluation in rural areas of Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1999-2000. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.9, pp.1967-1978. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2006000900028.
In addition to personal interviews, laboratory analyses were performed using 80 water samples from 45 rural areas that are crossed by the Água Limpa and Santa Cruz streams close to the city of Lavras, southern Minas Gerais State. The results allowed comparing the quality of water used for agriculture and the identification of determinant factors. The Água Limpa stream mostly crosses an area used primarily for housing and characterized by low schooling. Many houses are supplied by shallow water wells and have ordinary cesspits for human waste disposal. All springs are polluted. The Santa Cruz stream displays a different scenario. The land is used mostly for agricultural purposes. Most owners live in town, with widely varied levels of school, from none to university. The houses are supplied by surface water. Most of the springs are polluted. The perception by both home and land owners concerning quality of the drinking water is determined solely by the water's physical and organoleptic characteristics. Sanitary parameters are not taken into account. Moreover, there is no relationship between fecal contamination and the type of spring. Land use and anthropic activity are far more important than the type of spring for water quality.
Keywords : Rural Sanitation; Water Quality; Domestic Water Consumption.