COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE MICROBIAL QUALITY OF WATER SOURCED FROM DIFFERENT BOREHOLES
1.1 Background of Study
Water is a natural chemical substance which consists of the elements; Hydrogen and oxygen in the ratio of two is to one (2:1). It is indispensable for man’s existence on earth as about two-thirds of the human body consist of water and requires between one to seven (1-7) liters of water per day for its appropriate functioning to avoid dehydration.
To have safe drinking water is a human right and need for every man, woman and child. Having good water also is essential in breaking the cycle of poverty since it improves people’s health, strength to work and ability to function, yet over 884 million people around the world live without safe drinking water (WHO, 2015).
Before water can be described or said to be portable, it has to comply with certain physical, chemical and microbiological standards which are designed to ensure that the water is portable and safe for drinking. Therefore, appearance and organoleptic properties are not all there is to water quality assurance (Akunyili, 2003).
Portable water is defined as water that is free from contaminates such as disease causing microorganism and harmful chemical substance. Water meant for consumption should be from pollution, acceptable and safe. The quality of water should indeed not exceed the limits specified in the quality guidelines (Obi et al, 2004).
Borehole water, which have been defined by many in various ways is a low-cost technology option for domestic water supply in developing countries and are generally considered as safe sources of drinking water (Hughes and Koplan, 2005). When properly constructed and maintained, they provide consistent supplies of safe and wholesome water with low microbial load and little need for treatment of the water before drinking (Koksek et al, 2003).
The increase in drinking of borehole water from different sources within the university community has made it necessary to investigate the microbial content of water. Water being a potential carrier of pathogenic microorganisms that can endanger human life. Feaces, animals and plant wastes makes water unfit for drinking if not treated.
From research, it has been observed that each year, more that two million persons mostly children less than five years of age, ide of diarrhea diseases (Koksek et al, 2003, Parashar et al, 2003). For children in this age group, diarrhea disease accounted for 17% of all death from 2000 to 2003 (WHO, 2005) ranking third among the causes of death, after neonatal causes and acute respiratory infections. Nearly 90% of diarrhea-related deaths have been attributed to unsafe or inadequate water supplies and sanitation conditions affecting a large part of the World’s population (WHO, 2004; Hughes and Koplan, 2005).
The pollution of water with pathogenic organisms and other pollutants can only be detected by carrying out microbial quality analysis of such water (Koksek et al, 2003). Sachet driking water, erroneously called “Pure Water” was introduced into the Nigerian market as a less expensive means of accessing drinking water than bottled water (Ogundipe, et al, 2008).
Microbiological standards for water varies from place to place, to objectives anywhere are to reduce the possibility of spreading waterborne disease in addition to being pleasant to drink, which implies that is must be wholesome and portable in all respects (Edema et al, 2001; Okoako et al, 2008). Therefore, an interdisciplinary effort to ensure global access of safe water, basic sanitation and improved hygiene is the foundation for ending cycle of diseases (Hughles and Koplan, 2005).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Quite a number of human pathogens and microorganisms find their way into a susceptible host through contaminated and untreated water, which include the Salomonella sp, Shigella sp, Escherichia coli; which leads to the outbreak of these diseases.
Industrial pollution which include seepage of used water containing chemicals such as the heavy metals and radioactive compounds. Agricultural pollution may also include improper use of fertilizers, animal manure, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides etc. Domestic pollution may also involve poorly built septic tanks leaking or abandoned underground storage tanks, piping storm-water drains that discharge chemicals spills at local industries sites, pits and latrines, etc.
The WHO has recommended that borehole water should be located at least 30meters away from latrines and 17 meters from septic tanks (Chukwurah et al, 2005). Furthermore, sachet water could also be contaminated through processing during chemical treatment which arises primarily after prolonged period of exposure of chemicals to air which may be contaminated with toxic properties such as heavy metals and other carcinogenic substances, also during packaging processes through packaging materials and handlers. This study is to determine the quality of this water as to ascertain its safety for consumption in relation to standards set by the World Health Organization for drinking water.
1.3 Significance of the Study
There had been countless number of disease outbreak and poisoning around the world resulting from the consumption of untreated or poorly treated drinking water (Fong et al, 2007). It is observed that within the university community, borehole and sachet water serves as an easily accessed and cheap commercial source of drinking water to a great number of people and conformation of this source with World Health Organization (WHO) standard of portable water is of special interest because of its possibility to spread disease within a large population. Considering this fact, this research work seeks to determine how “Pure” and safe this sachet and borehole water are by assessing their microbial quality.
1.4 Aims and Objectives
The main aims of this study are:
i. To compare the microbial quality of borehole water sourced from the school community and sachet water.
ii. To analyze the microbial qualities of borehole water within the university community gotten at random from different campuses.
iii. To compare the conformity of the sachet water with standards set by regulatory bodies such as World Health Organization (WHO), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON)..