The Bacteriological And Mycological Contamination Of Domestic Water In Malete Community, Ilorin, Kwara State

Project and Seminar Material for Microbiology

The Bacteriological And Mycological Contamination Of Domestic Water In Malete Community, Ilorin, Kwara State


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other lifeforms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world, but approximately one billion people still lack access to safe water and over 2.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability (Kulshreshtha, 2008). A report, issued in November 2009, suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%.

Water plays an important role in the world economy. Approximately 70% of the freshwater used by humans goes to agriculture (Baroni et al., 2007). Fishing in salt and fresh water bodies is a major source of food for many parts of the world. Much of long-distance trade of commodities (such as oil and natural gas) and manufactured products is transported by boats through seas, rivers, lakes, and canals. Large quantities of water, ice, and steam are used for cooling and heating, in industry and homes. Water is an excellent solvent for a wide variety of chemical substances; as such it is widely used in industrial processes, and in cooking and washing. Water is also central to many sports and other forms of entertainment, such as swimming, pleasure boating, boat racing, surfing, sport fishing, and diving.

Not only quality but also quantity of domestic water supplies impacts on human health. The review by Esrey and Habicht (2006) of 65 epidemiological studies on the health effects of improved water supplies and sanitation facilities indicates that quantity of water is often more important than quality, particularly in heavily contaminated environments.

The human body has 55% to 78% water depending on body size. The percentage of water observed in different body parts are as – muscular tissues 75%, brain contains 90% water, bones 22%, and blood 83%. Since, water is one of the essential components required to our body, it is important to assess the quality of water, which is being used for household activities as well as consumption whether it is actually reliable and safe for health of the consumers. Water portability refers to the quality of water that can be safe for consumption and use with no risk of adverse health effects.

Many studies have been carried out worldwide for checking the quality and safety of drinking water. Kurup et al. (2010) have carried out the microbial and physiochemical analysis of water samples by taking biofilm samples from residential areas in Georgetown, Guyana, discovering the most prevalent species to be Lactobacillus and the least prevalent species to be Salmonella sp. Zvidzai et al. (2007) carried out a study on microbiological assessment of rural drinking water in Zimbabwe.

Smeets et al. (2008) have found that absence of indicator organisms in drinking water does not guarantee microbial safety. Therefore, the water utilities are implementing water safety plans (WSP) to safeguard drinking water quality. Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) can provide objective quantitative input for Water Safety Plans. Prasai et al. (2007) have evaluated quality of water from different sources (tap, stone spout, tube well and well) from Kathmandu valley by utilizing Heterotrophic plate counts and Coliform counts extensively as basis for regulating microbial quality of drinking water. Regulatory parameters were found to be much above the WHO guideline values. This study showed that most natural water sources are highly contaminated. The detection of pathogenic enteric bacteria in different sources of drinking water depicted for water borne epidemics situations there.

Nagpal et al. (2011) have examined the drinking water for the presence or absence of Salmonella, Citrobacter, E. coli and Vibrio species in the Indira Sagar/Omkeshwar project affected areas and rehabilitation/ resettlement colonies of Sardar project in Madhya Pradesh. Tambekar et al. (2008) revalidated the testing methods for assessing microbial safety of drinking water in the villages of Amrawati district of Maharashtra for using bacteriological analysis with the help of Mutiple Tube fermentation technique to determine most probable number (MPN), Membrane filter techniques, Eijekamn’s test for thermotolerant coliform and Manja’s Rapid hydrogen sulphide test for detection of fecal contaminations in drinking water.

Hence, it is essential to check the quality of the available drinking water from various sources. In view of this present study was designed to analyze the microbiological quality of the available drinking water from various sources like food stalls, tea stalls, supply water, packaged water to facilitate the examination of level of contamination and finally hence the risk associated with their consumption.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The most common and widespread danger associated with drinking water is contamination, either directly or indirectly, by sewage, other wastes or human and animal excrement (WHO, 2004). About 25 years ago, authoritative estimates indicated that each year some 500 million people are affected by water-borne or water associated disease, and as many as 10 million of these die (Campbell, 2007). In a recent estimate based on WHO reports suggests that 80% of all human illnesses in the developing world are caused by biological contamination (Witt, 2007). Faecal pollution of drinking water may introduce a variety of intestinal pathogens. Their presence being related to microbial diseases and carriers present in the community, which may cause diseases from mild gastroentritis to severe and sometimes fatal dysentry, cholera or typhoid.

Other organisms, naturally present in the environment and not regarded as pathogens, may also cause opportunist disease (WHO, 2004). Ideally, drinking water should not contain any microorganisms known to be pathogenic. It should be free from bacteria indicative of pollution with excreta (WHO, 2004). The majority of the population in developing countries is not adequately supplied with potable water, and thus obliged to use unsafe water for domestic and drinking purposes (Feacham, 2008). Malete, a developing community, is also facing a problem of wholesome water supply.


1.3 Justification of the Research

Water quality performs an important role in the health of human beings, animals, and plants. Surface water quality is an essential component of the natural environment and a matter of serious concern today (Liu et al., 2011). Rivers and reservoirs play a major role in drinking water, agricultural use, fishery, and electricity production, so protection of water quality is a very important issue and it should be kept at acceptable levels (Venkatesharaju et al., 2010). The variation of water quality is the essential combination of both anthropogenic (such as urban, industrial, agricultural activities and the human exploitation of water sources) and natural contributions (such as precipitation rate, weathering processes and soil erosion) (Pejman et al., 2009). Deterioration of lake and river water quality is common in many aquatic systems and potential causes are usually various including point and non- point sources of pollution (Pisinaris et al., 2007).


1.4 Aim and Objectives

1.4.1 Aim

The aim of this study is to investigate the bacteriological and mycological contamination of domestic water in Malete community, Ilorin, Kwara State.

1.4.2 Objectives

The specific objectives of this study are:

  1. To determine the total coliform density in domestic water in Malete community.
  2. To assess the presence of Escherichia coli and Streptococcus faecalis in domestic water in Malete community.
  3. To isolate some common fungi in domestic water in Malete community.

1.5 Research Hypotheses (Null)

  1. There is no significant difference in the density of coliform in domestic water in Malete community.
  2. Domestic water in Malete yielded no significant growth of fungi isolates.
  3. Domestic water samples in Malete yielded no significant growth of Escherichia coli and Streptococcus faecalis.

Chapter Five


5.0 Discussion

An acceptable pH for drinking water is between pH 6.5 to pH 8.5, recommended by WHO as a guideline value and in the absence of a distribution system acceptable range may be broader. However, the water samples examined in this study were within the acceptable pH range. For the presumptive coliforms test, the WHO guideline for both treated and untreated water samples is 0/100 ml (WHO, 2009), but in an occasional untreated water sample 3 coliform/100 ml are allowed on the condition that these would not be found in consecutive water samples (WHO, 2010).The coliform group as an indicator bacteria are used to evaluate the portability of drinking water and the presence of any coliform organisms is an indication of a contaminated source, inadequate treatment or post treatment contamination (Mark and Gordon, 2007).

In unpiped water supplies, sometimes up to 10 coliforms/l00 ml are allowed but they should not occur repeatedly; if occurrence is frequent and sanitary protection cannot be improved, an alternative source must be found if possible (WHO, 2010). In this study, 70% of the untreated and 30% of the treated water samples were positive for MPN, showing a high contamination and risk to public health. The detection of faecal (thermotolerant) coliform organisms provide definite evidence of faecal pollution (WHO, 2009) and they were found in 30% of the positive samples. Search for Streptococcus faecalis is not carried out routinely. Its main value is when doubt is expressed that large numbers of irregular types of coliforms found in a sample of water are of faecal origin. Confirmation of faecal pollution would then rely on finding Streptococcus faecalis in the water. Since they survive longer in water than coliform bacteria they should be referred as indicator of faecal pollution in water and shellfish. In the present study they were found only in 22% of the water samples examined. The main value of colony counts lies in the comparison of results obtained from regular samples from the same supply so that any significant change from the normal range in a particular location can be detected (WHO, 2009). As the Standard Plate Counting (SPC) in most of the untreated water samples was very high, it is therefore desirable to disinfect all supplies of drinking water before distribution. Supplies derived from protected sources which are distributed without disinfection should be similar in quality to that of disinfected drinking water. Where it is impracticable to supply water to consumers through a piped distribution network and where untreated sources such as wells, bore-holes and springs which may be naturally pure must be used, considerable reliance should be placed on sanitary examination and not exclusively on the results of bacteriological examination (Feacham, 2010). The high percentage of E. coli (30%) provides a definite evidence of faecal pollution in water. Staphylococcus aureus (13%) which is relatively recently accepted as indicator organisms in food and water, provides a useful indication that faecal contamination has occurred in water.

Pseudomonas spp. are common inhabitant of soil and water carried in small numbers in the faeces of man and animals. These were isolated in about 9% samples and are of public health importance as some species cause a variety of suppurative infections in man. Enterotoxigenic strains of pseudomonas spp. alongwith other species of Enterobacter, Klebsiella and Acinetobacter have been isolated from cases of infantile diarrhoea in Addis Ababa during surveys in 1974 and 1977 (Back et al., 2007). Enterotoxigenic species of proteus with other enterotoxigenic bacteria have also been reported in a study on food and water from an Ethiopian community (Jiwa et al., 2011). Environmental bacteria include Acinetobacter spp., and Bacillus spp. which are usually found in soil. Presence of such high bacterial counts and presence of faecal coliforms and other indicator organisms as Streptococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus indicate inadequate treatment, post treatment contamination and contaminated water sources. Coliform count showed a relatively high degree of contamination of water from the untreated source and a reduced degree from the treated source. In the three study areas, water from the river showed more contamination with Elemere having the highest level of coliform density of 22.1×106, followed by Asomu with 19.4×106 and Malete (13.6×106). This could be because of the nature of its use such as washing, fishing and irrigation. However, open defecation is the leading cause of the high amount of coliform present in these water bodies. Dams also showed a high coliform density with Asomu (17.4×106) having the highest volume of contaminant. This was closely followed by Elemere with a density of 13.7×106 and Malete with 9.3×106. Certain treated water also contained coliform, this could be because of contamination of water when stored in the reservoir. Therefore, everything possible should be done to prevent pollution of drinking water, special attention being given to safe disposal of excreta and prompt prevention of open defecation. Nevertheless, the significance of routes of transmission other than drinking water should not be underestimated, as the provision of a safe potable water supply by itself will not necessarily prevent infection without accompanying improvement in sanitation and personal habits. Education in simple hygiene is also essential.


5.1 Conclusion

The present study concluded that untreated waters from dams, rivers and streams of the study area were not polluted in respect to physico- chemical assessment. However, bacteriological studies attributed untreated water was not fit for drinking purposes due to higher coliform counts, which require continuous monitoring and treatment process if the water is to be used for drinking and domestic purposes.


5.2 Recommendations

From the results of this investigation, there’s need to monitor the water quality from time to time to detect the actual source of contamination and also to pass the water through a form of treatment to prevent epidemic outbreak, since the values obtained are far above the WHO and SON guidelines for water intended for domestic use. There is need for pre- treatment before use for domestic purposes. Some steps and awareness programs must be put in place to educate local villagers to safeguard the community water resources and the surrounding. Open defecation must be totally kicked against as government should provide proper sewage systems in these locality. Non-governmental bodies can also device means to train the community members on Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).


The Bacteriological And Mycological Contamination Of Domestic Water In Malete Community, Ilorin, Kwara State


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The Bacteriological And Mycological Contamination Of Domestic Water In Malete Community, Ilorin, Kwara State


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