Microbiological Examination Of Well Water Source

Project and Seminar Material for Science Laboratory Technology SLT

Microbiological Examination Of Well Water Source


The examination of underground source (well water) at campus 3 of IMT Enugu was carried out, by using ten samples of the water sample. For viable plate count for presence of pathogenic organisms and organisms indicating organic matter pollution, plating technique of poor plates were used. Also presence of coliform groups and escheriachria coli were examined using presumptive coliform, test confirmatory and completed test techniques. The media used included nutrient agar, macconkey agar, and brilliant green bile agar, maccnokey broth and brilliant green bile broth. The total viable plate count gave 5 CFU per each for pathogenic organisms indicating organic matter pollution whereas the presumptive test showed the presence of coliform groups in eight samples out of ten samples and presence of escherichria coli in seven samples out of ten. The comfirmatory tests showed the presence of coliforms groups in six samples out of ten and presence of E. coli in four samples out of ten.

Whereas, the completed test gave the highest coliform count of 2 CFU in one sample and 1 CFU each in three samples, while only one sample out of ten gave 1 CFU for E. coli count. And the mean count for coliform, for the completed test was 0.6 CFU. The results indicated the presence of coliforms and E. coli, but the microbial load was minimal in all the tests. Therefore, the underground water source (well water) at campus 3 of IMT, Enugu is not fit for drinking though can be used for washing clothes and bathing.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Aim and objectives of the study
  • 1.2 Hypothesis
  • 1.3 Significance of the study
  • 1.4 Statement of the problem
  • 1.5 Limitation

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature review

  • 2.1 History of water purification
  • 2.2 Sources of water
  • 2.3 Underground water contamination
  • 2.4 Biodegradation
  • 2.5 Underground water/water protection

Chapter Three

3.0 Materials and Method

  • 3.1 Materials (see appendix)
  • 3.2 Methods
  • 3.2.1 Sterilization
  • 3.2.2 Collection of well water samples
  • 3.2.3 Preparation of culture media
  • 3.2.4 Plating techniques for water analysis
  • 3.2.5 Microbial count, gram staining and microscopic examination

Chapter Four

4.0 Result

  • 4.1 Total viable count
  • 4.2 Presumptive test
  • 4.3 Confirmatory test
  • 4.4 Completed test

Chapter Five

5.0 Discussion

Chapter Six

6.0 Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 6.1 Conclusion
  • 6.2 Recommendations
  • Appendix
  • Reference

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

The amount of ground water varies considerably from place to place and is obviously greater where the surface rock is porous such as limestone and chalk than it is in areas of non-porous or impermeable rock such as clay. Ground water is responsible for the formation of spring and under ground.

Under ground water (well water) is stored water below ground, formed by rainfall. It can be obtained by digging a hole through the earth surface until the water table is reached. It must be sunk to the depth of the permanent water table, if a constant supply of water is to be obtained (Allen 1975).

The water table falls during dry seasons but will not fall to dryness. And if it is deep enough it remains on the saturated zone. There are two types of well water, they are: the shallow/surface well water and deep well water. Water from deep wells tends to be less polluted than that from surface/shallow well (world health statistics 1972).

Ground water is used for several purposes such as washing, cooking, food processing and among others. Out of these used drinking of water seems to be the sensitive as it could have a direct deleterious impact on health of human beings. Therefore, drinking water should be potable, so free from toxic substance (Letrotal 1980).

According to The koronye and Ngoddy (1985) water is potable when it is colourless, odourless, tasteless and free from bacteria. A few substances and microbes that are health hazards do occur in water, and can cause illness. From microbiological point of view, the pathogens most frequently transmitted through water are these, which cause infection of the intestinal tract, like dysentery, cholera, and typhoid fever.

The world health organization (WHO 1982) have standard for potable water of which coliforms should be absent and total plate consist of bacterial growth should be 100 CFU/ml of water.

There are two types of water, namely:

  1. Soft water
  2. Hard water

Soft water is a example of pipe water because the water is treated with some organic substances. Whereas hard water is an example of ground water because it contains calcium and magnesium, hard water will not form lather readily with soap, because it contains a number of dissolved salts, the most importance being calcium tetraoxosusphate (vi) magnesium tetraoxosulphate (vi) and calcium hydrogen trioxocarbonate (iv) soap is the sodium or potassium salt of an organic acid. Ordinary soap is usually sodium octadecanoate. When soap is added to hard water the dissolved salts in the water will immediately react with soap molecule.

Dissolved calcium + sodium calcium insoluble + sodium salt soluble.

The insoluble calcium and magnesium salt form an unpleasant scum, which strikes to clothes and is difficult to rinse away. Hard water is wasteful, as a large amount of soap has to be used in precipitating and removing the calcium and magnesium ion, after which more soap has to be used for the actual washing. In recent years, this problem has been overcome by the introduction of detergent for domestic and laundry purposes. These detergents are not affected by hard water because they form calcium and magnesium salts, which are soluble in water.

Types of Hard Water

  1. Temporary hard water
  2. Permanently hard water

Temporary hardness of water can be easily removed by boilli9ng. This hardness is caused by the presence of dissolved calcium hydrogen trioxocarbonate (iv) (Ca(HCo3)2), which decomposes on leating to form calcium trioxocarbonate (iv) (CaCo3) formed as an insoluble substance.

Permanent hardness of water can only be removed by using chemical. It is caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium ion. In the form of soluble tetraoxosulphate (vi) and chloride, permanent hardness can be removed by precipitating the calcium and magnesium ion from solution.

Ground water (well-water) tastes better than soft water because of the dissolved minerals in it. The calcium salt present in ground water (well-water) when taken in my animals, it helps to build strong teeth and bones. Ground water helps animals such as snails and crabs to make their shells (Adeleke, 1976).

Microorganisms associated with round water are bacterial, protozoa and viruses. Communicable diseases which may be transmitted by bacteria include Typhoid Fever, cholera, Salmonellosis, bacillary dysentery etc. Viral diseases transmitted include, Hepatitis and poliomyelitis, while protozoa, such as Glardic and Cryptosporidium can cause gastoretentis and are very resistant to disinfectants. Certain fungi notable Aspergillus is a human pathogen while a worm causes schistosomiasis. Which may be transmitted through water.

1.1 Aim and Objectives of the Study

(a) Aim of the Study

To determine the Microbiological safety of underground water (well-water) at Campus III, Institute of management and technology (IMT), Enugu.

(b) Objectives of the Study
  1. To isolate bacterial contaminants of underground water (well-
  2. To determine if there is faecal contamination of underground water source.
  3. To determine the microbial load of underground water source (well-water).

1.2 Hypotheses

  • Ho : Underground water (well-water) is safe for drinking.
  • Hi : Underground water (well-water) is not safe for drinking.
  • Hii : Underground water does not contain enough microbial load to cause infection.

1.3 Significance of the Study

Majority of people in Enugu Municipality have resorted to the use of well water. The results of this research will reveal the safety or otherwise of underground water.

Source at Campus III of Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu.

1.4 Statement of the Problem

There is scarcity of potable water in Enugu Municipality. And this has made individual and organisations to resort to underground water source. So, this prompted the idea to ascertain the microbiological safety of the underground water source at Campus III of Institute of management and technology (IMT), Enugu, now in use by the students living in Campus III hostels.

1.5 Limitation

The project is limited to the microbiological examination of underground water source at Campus III, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu.

Chapter Six

Conclusion and Recommendation

6.1 Conclusion

The research of this work had shown minimal presence of both pathogenic organisms and organisms indicating organic matter pollution.

Also there was minimal isolation of coliforms and Escherichia coli. Therefore, the well water at Campus III of Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu though can be used for washing and bathing, is not fit for drinking, since there is presence of faecal contamination of the water.

6.2 Recommendation

From the result of the examination carried out on the underground water source at Campus II of Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, it was discovered that the well-water B not fit for drinking. So, we appeal to the management of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu and the Government of Enugu State to treat the water.

The treatment is required to be done in terms of coliform, Escherichia coli, pathogenic organisms and organisms indicating organic matter pollution of well water.

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