Bacteriological and Physicochemical Quality Assessment of Packaged and Other Drinking Water Sources
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Bacteriological and Physicochemical Quality Assessment of Packaged and Other Drinking Water Sources

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– Bacteriological and Physicochemical Quality Assessment of Packaged and Other Drinking Water Sources  –

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Abstract

Continuous increase in the sale and indiscriminate consumption of packaged drinking water and untreated water types such as borehole and well waters in Nigeria is of public health significance.

Three hundred samples comprising 120 sachets, 60 bottled water brands, 60 borehole and 60 well water samples from five sampling sites in Zaria, North Western Nigeria were analysed microbiologically and physicochemically using standard procedures.

Membrane filter technique was used to detect the presence of bacterial indicators of water quality as well as specific pathogens such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Enterococcus spp.

The research was conducted between June 2014 to February 2015 during the wet and dry seasons. Isolated pathogens were characterized conventionally, using MicrogenTM ID Kits and molecularly by Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR).

The nitrate level in samples of the wells (100%) and borehole (40%) water were above the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) minimum contamination level of 10mg/l.

Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Water is a simple molecule, consisting of two hydrogen atoms bonded to an oxygen atom with molecular formula H2O (Bassem, 2013).

It is one of the most important chemical substances for the sustenance of life and is vital for all known forms of life on Earth; It constitutes about 75% of the Earth`s surface (UN, 2005; EL-Jakee et al., 2009; Hongyue et al., 2013).

In terms of sheer volume, About 97.5% of all the water on Earth is salt water, only 2.5% of all the water on Earth is fresh water and 98.8% of that fresh water is frozen in Antarctica and Greenland icecaps or lies too deep underground to be accessible; only 1.2% of the Earth’s freshwater is available for withdrawal and human use (Shiklomanov, 2000; UN, 2005; Bassem, 2013).

However, this is continually being polluted by various anthropogenic activities thereby further reducing the available freshwater for human use.

The drinking water of most communities including Zaria in Nigeria is obtained from various sources: boreholes, rivers, streams, and well waters. Source water contamination poses a risk to public health and increases the cost of drinking water treatment.

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