American Samoa Water Quality
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American Samoa Water Quality Themes
Animal manure and waste management Animal manure and waste management
Surface runoff is a significant water quality concern, causing pollution to streams, estuaries, and coral reefs. Sources of pollution include piggery waste disposal and sediment runoff.
  Piggery effluent often leaches into groundwater or drains directly to streams. Home construction adjacent to streams results in the immediate loss of a riparian vegetation buffer and, usually, the impending placement of a revetment to counter meandering. These exacerbate sedimentation from steep forested slopes cleared for agriculture.
Groundwater contamination Groundwater contamination
Ground water contamination is a major concern because the main aquifer is beneath the fastest developing area in the territory--the Tafuna plains. While inspections are conducted on newly installed septic tanks, many old faulty tanks remain. And all too often household wastes are disposed of directly into streams and drainage ditches instead of solid waste receptacles.
Pollution assessment and prevention Pollution assessment and prevention
Heavy metals and pesticides have been detected in Pago Pago Harbor as a result of bad waste management in the past. Large quantities of litter—mainly packaging waste but also large appliances and even medical refuse--continue to pollute many streams and beaches. Antilittering campaigns, stream and beach cleanups by students and concerned villagers, aluminum can recycling centers, and periodic scrap metal pickups by the water/waste water utility help ameliorate this problem.
Drinking water and human health Drinking water and human health
Most villages are now connected to the municipal water supply. Remote villages still dependent on stream catchments are advised to boil water, especially after heavy rains, since contamination is often confirmed upon testing. Population growth is extremely high, and there is concern that demands on clean drinking water will exceed supply in the near future if existing trends continue.
  Weekly testing of beach water regularly warns of bacteria levels that exceed human health standards. Similarly, streams polluted from piggery waste are suspected to carry the potentially fatal Leptospirosis bacterium. Serologic testing of patients suspected with this disease should provide better evidence as to its scope.
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