Studies on Bacteriological Quality of Sachet Water in Imo State, Nigeria
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– Studies on Bacteriological Quality of Sachet Water in Imo State, Nigeria –

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Abstract

Water is one of the indispensable resources for the continued existence of all living things including man. The provision of an adequate supply of safe drinking water was one of the eight components of primary health care identified by the International Conference on Primary Health care in 1978.

This study investigated the bacteriological quality of sachet-packed water in Imo State, Nigeria. A total of five sachet water collected around Imo State University premises where examined for registration number, manufacturing date, expiry date and net volume (cl).

Physiochemical analysis carried out showed that these sachet waters where in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) Standard.

The sachet waters cultured on bacteriological media showed the presence of coliform bacteria and other pathogenic bacteria. The bacteria isolate form the water samples are; Salmonella species, Coliform species, Escherichia coli, and Enterobacter species.

Results showed that 100% of the packaged water samples examined were either untreated or produced under unhygienic conditions. High aerobic colony counts in the order of 106 were recorded from all of the samples examined.

The findings show that 90% of packed pure water sold in the country are not fit for human consumption and are hazardous to health. This calls for urgent attention by regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies in the country

Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Production and sale of sachet water, popularly called “pure water” in Nigeria, is presently a lucrative business, therefore many people are involved in the production and marketing of the product.

Water is one of the most important as well as one of the most abundant compound on earth, and is vital to the survival of any organism (Tortora et al., 2002).Water in nature is seldom totally pure. Rainfall is contaminated as it falls to earth (Ajewole, 2005).

The combustion of fossil fuel put sulphur compounds as being responsible for pollution of rain water by precipitation (Edema et al., 2001).

However, water that moves below the ground surface undergoes natural filtration that removes most organisms. For this reason, water from springs and deep wells are generally of better quality than flowing water.

Water related diseases continue to be one of the major health issue globally. The high revalence of diarrhoea among children and infants can be traced to the use of unsafe water and unhygienic practices (Omalu et al., 2010).

The most dangerous form of water pollution occur when fecal contaminants like Escherichia coli enter the water supply and also through the fecal-oral routes of transmission.

Microbial contaminants in water supply are the sources of many diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, bacillary dysentery and so on. Examples of such microbial contaminants are Salmonella spp., Shigella spp.,Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli (Edema et al.,2001; Tortora et al., 2002).

Various opportunistic pathogens that occur naturally in the environment may cause disease in humans. Those who are at greater risk of infection are infants and young children, people whose immune system is suppressed, the sick and the elderly.

In such individuals, drinking water containing large numbers of opportunistic pathogens can occasionally produce infections.

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