Physical distance and time required to collect water is important, as water quality has been shown to deteriorate between collection at the source (even if it is an improved source) and storage in the home (Shields et al. 2015). In households without running water, vessels are used to store water for drinking, cooking and washing. Numerous studies have shown that water stored in wide mouth containers can have higher microbial concentrations than the source water (see Mølbak et al. 1989). Deterioration in the quality of stored water can occur through contact with hands (Pickering et al. 2010), ladles and insects, so an appropriately sealed container is an essential step in preventing contamination after collection (Jensen et al. 2002). Figure shows examples of poor and good practices in handling and storage of water in the household. Poor handling of water stored in the home can contaminate previously safe water (Shields et al. 2015).
From collection: Sanitation and Wastewater Atlas of Africa - Human Health