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Drinking Water Quality (fecal contamination, household level)

Indicator Phrasing

% of households whose drinking water contains 0 fecal coliforms per 100 ml sample
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of households whose drinking water contains 0 fecal coliforms per 100 ml sample

French: % de ménages ayant une eau potable ne contenant aucune bactérie coliforme fécale par échantillon de 100 ml

Spanish: % de hogares cuya agua potable contiene 0 coliformes fecales por 100 ml de muestra

Portuguese: % de agregados familiares cuja água para beber contém 0 coliformes fecais por amostra de 100 ml

Czech: % domácností jejichž pitná voda obsahuje 0 fekálních koliformních baktérií na 100 ml vzorku vody

What is its purpose?

The indicator assesses the presence of fecal coliforms in drinking water that was brought to the household. The presence of these harmful bacteria shows that the water has been contaminated by animal or human faeces.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

1) Consult your WASH advisor and/or relevant WASH authorities on locally available methods for testing the presence of faecal coliforms.


2) Ensure that the water samples are collected from a representative sample of households + from water that the household members use for drinking. 


3) To calculate the indicator's value, divide the number of households whose drinking water contains 0 fecal coliforms per 100 ml sample by the total number of assessed households. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. 

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by wealth and other relevant criteria. 

Important Comments

1) Be aware that collecting and analysing water samples from a representative number of households is likely to be quite time-consuming and costly


2) In acute emergencies it is often challenging to reach the standard of "no faecal coliforms per 100ml of water". Therefore, consult with the WASH cluster the possibility of changing your indicator to "... less than 10 faecal coliforms ...", reflecting the following thresholds described in UNHCR's Emergency Field Handbook

  > 0–10 faecal coliforms/100 ml = reasonable quality

  > 10–100 faecal coliforms/100 ml = polluted

  > 100–1,000 faecal coliforms/100 ml = dangerous

  > 1,000 faecal coliforms/100 ml = very dangerous


3) BHA phrases the indicator slightly differently, as "percent of households whose drinking water supplies have 0 fecal coliforms per 100 ml sample". 

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This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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