Physico-Chemical Properties Of Sachet Water

Project and Seminar Material for Biochemistry

Physico-Chemical Properties Of Sachet Water


In spite of the varying levels of contamination widely reported, sachet water is still well accepted. This study therefore assessed social perception of people on the most popular sachet water brands, conducted sensory evaluation, quality certification and packaging and storage quality evaluation of sachet water samples. It also assessed the Physico-chemical and coliforms count of popular brands using standard laboratory procedures. For the study, two study areas; Aba South and Aba North Local Government Areas of Aba, Abia State, Nigeria were selected. Eight samples from the popular sachet water brands (four samples per local government areas) were purchased from water vendors and labeled alphabets A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H. Flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Phoenix-986) was used for the determination of lead, chromium and cadmium in the sample. Data obtained were subjected to simple descriptive statistical analysis. The result revealed that the characteristics of the water samples include 7.4 – 6.7 (pH), 0.04 – 0.1µS/cm (EC), 33.0 – 18.0 mg/L (Chloride), 15.2 – 6.0 mg/L (Calcium), 0.32 – 0.08 mg/L (Nitrate), 16.0 – 4.0 mg/L (Magnesium), 94.0 – 24.0 mg/L (Total Alkalinity), 34.0 – 18.0 mg/L (Sulphate), 70.0 – 30.0 mg/L (Manganese), 40.0 – 10.0 mg/L (Iron), 62.0 – 27.0 mg/L (Zinc) and with an average coliform count of 18.58 MNP/100ml. The physico-chemical analysis indicated that the average values of the parameters were all below the Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality (NSDWQ) and World Health Organisation (WHO) permissible limits. Bacteriological analysis in terms of total coliform revealed that sample D from Aba South local government area showed positive coliform count value of 18.00 ± 0.58 MPN/100ml making it unfit for portability. The aerobic mesophilic count for sample D from Aba South of 2.1 x 102exceeded the WHO, 1.0×102 permissible limit. The study advocates proper water treatment by water manufacturers and strict monitoring for compliance by the regulatory agencies.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of Study

Water is a clear, colourless, testless and odorless liquid that is essential for life. Water is among the natural resources that occupies 708 of the earth surface (Willy et al, 2008). The human body needs about three to four litres of water per day for its normal functions. Apart from drinking and body functions, man needs water for various purposes including for use in transportation, recreation, water disposal, hydroelectric system (Onyeagba and Isu 2009).

Water is a good solvent and is often referred to as the universal solvent. It is transparent in the visible electromagnetic spectrum. Aquatic plants can live in water because sunlight can reach them. Ultraviolent and infrared light is strongly absorbed. Chemically, water is made up of two moles of hydrogen and one mole of oxygen in the ratio 2:1 the boiling point of water (and all other liquids) is dependent on the barometric pressure. For example, at the top of mount. Everest water boils at 680C (1540F) compared to 1000C (2120F) at the sea level conversely, water deep in the ocean near geothermal vets can reach temperature of hand reds or degrees and remains liquid.

Water has the second highest molar specific of any known substance, after ammonia, as well as high heat of vaporization (40.65KJ mol-1). Both of which are a result of the extensive hydrogen bonding between its molecules these two unusual by buffering large fluctuation in temperature. Water plays a critical role in regulating body temperature, it carries nutrients throughout the body, it improves digestion, it eliminates waste and toxins from the body.

The total amount of water in the body of an average adult is 37 litres, human brains are 75% water, human bones are 25% water, human blood is 83% water. Water needs to be continuously replaced since, on average, 250ml is lost on a daily basis through breathing alone. By drinking an adequate amount of water each day at least 8 glasses/ 2 litres, you can ensure that your body has all it needs to maintain good health, of course, your fluid needs might be double or even triple that amount when you work out for more than an hour in the heart.

Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Incredible as it may seem, water is quite possible the single. Most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits.

The kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. When they don’t work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver’s primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usually energy for the body. Water can help relieve constipation, when the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources which the colon is one primary functions. But when a person drinks enough water normal bowel function usually returns.

In order of importance, air, water and food are the three main’s necessities of life. A person can survive from a mouth without food, about a week, without water and less than five minutes without air. The provision of an adequate supply of safe drinking water was of the eight components of primary health care 1918. Increase in human population have exerted an enormous pressure on the provision of safe drinking water especially in areas of developing.

Countries in the ear of colonialism in Nigeria. Water was supplied to the public free by the government. But Nigeria has moved form a mixed to capitalist economy. In cities and towns today, water now attracts rates and fees with insufficient governments supply private sector participation has evolved and the idea of packaged drinking water popularly referred as “pure water” is now a common phenomenon in eh country.

Drinking water is now commercially packed in easy to open 50-60ml polyethene sacs and is referred to as “sachet water”. This packed water is cheap and convent and have increasingly become popular. Arising from the abuse of its production leading to a situation whereby the pure. Although there is death of documentation of data in incidence rate. It has been widely observed that the advent of pure water has significantly increase the case of samonelosis and typhoid fever in recent years.

Most potable water in Nigeria comes from three sources, which include rainwater, surface water and ground water. Similarly, Okeri et al. (2009) noted that most of the water consumed in Nigeria is obtained from rainwater, lakes, rivers, springs, streams and ground water including boreholes and private wells which do not always produce pure water due to the presence of different contaminants.

Water pollution has continue to generate unpleasant implication. For health and economic development in Nigeria (Adelegan 2004). There are several files and regulations for drinking water. In Nigeria, such regulations are monitored by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which was established by decree No. 15 of 1993 surveillance carried out by NAFDAC between 2004 and 2005 revealed that some producers of packed water indulge in share practices such as a packaging of untreated water, production under unhygienic conditions, illegal production of unregistered water in unapproved premises, use of non-food grade sachets and release of packed water for distribution and sale without data masking, these malpractices completed the agency to formulate guidelines for the production of wholesome packaged water.

However, deposit the policies formulated by public and internal agencies to address this problems, the situation in Nigeria seems degenerating and therefore demands increase attention in order to effectively solve the problem. However; there is need to fully asses the extent of the problem and it causes. Drinking water regulation require that potable water on human consumption be free from human diseases. Causing bacterial and specific of these pathogenic (Listw 1993). This does not mean that drinking water should be sterile, some bacterial are classified as pathogens. Examples of bacterial pathogens and their related diseases (dysenteric) and lagionella pnenophilia (legconneaire’s disease) this study was therefore aimed at investigating the incidence of pathogenic organisms in sachet packed drinking water sold in Aba, Abia State.

For studies (Olayemi, 2007; Adekunle et al, 2003; Asheye et al; 2001; Gyang et al; 2008) have been conducted in recent years on the quality of packaged water in Nigeria. These focused primarily on the end-product, leaving out the processes that determine the final rate of the package water, as well as the people (various stakeholders involved) in whose hands the will power to effect the desire changes consequently, practicable recommendations aimed at changing the statusquo have not yet emerged. This study set out to ascertain the bacteriological quality of the water in sachets, to identify contributory factors that determine the fate of the packaged water product as it moves form catchment to consumers, and to highlight unharnessed opportunities for policy improvement that would allow for sustained and improved regulation of the sachet water industry.

Therefore, the need to examine sachet water regularly at the point of distribution, to ascertain whether or not they meet minimum standards for safe drinking water is inevitable. Based on this, the current study determined the prevalence of water-borne pathogens in sachet water within Nigeria, using Aba, Nigeria as a case study.

1.2 Problem Statement

The sale and consumption of packaged water continues to grow rapidly in Aba and other places in Nigeria. Drinking water, regardless of its source, is usually subjected to one or more of a variety of treatment processes intended to improve its safety and aesthetic quality. Several studies on the microbial quality of bottled and sachet water have reported violations of international quality standards (Aba Northdeji et al., 2009).

Even if no sources of anthropogenic contamination exist, there is the potential for natural levels of minerals and other chemicals to be harmful to human health (Anawara et al., 2002). Chemical parameters of drinking water have the propensity to pose more of a chronic health risk, even though some components like nitrates and nitrites may have an acute impact. Examples of chronic health effects include cancer, liver and kidney damage, disorders of the nervous system, damage to the immune system, and birth defects (Zaslow and Glenda, 1996). Physical parameters affect the aesthetic value of the drinking water and might complicate the removal of microbial pathogens.

The present study aimed to determine the safety of some packaged drinking water sold in the Aba Municipality. The drinking water quality data would be essential for the implementation of responsible drinking water quality regulations, for characterizing and remediating contaminations and consequently to protect the health of the consumers. This research will also give an insight into the effectiveness of the water treatment processes. The study further assessed sachet water physiochemical and bacteriological properties and ascertained their compliance to NSDWQ and World Health Organization (WHO) minimum standards for save drinking water.

1.3 Objectives of Study

Main Objective

The main objective of this research was therefore to determine the physio-chemical properties of sachet water sold in Aba.

Specific Objectives

The specific objectives included:

  1. To assess bacteriological contamination levels of sachet water in Aba.
  2. To observe and characterize physical properties of sachet water during prolonged storage Scenarios.
  3. To create awareness amongst potential and target communities of sachet water users.

1.4 Significance of the Study

There has been countless number of diseases outbreak and poisoning around the world resulting from the consumption of untreated or poorly treated drinking water (Fong et al., 2007). Several studies on the quality of sachet water have reported violation of international quality standards. According to the Insitute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN) 50% of the sachet water sold in the streets of Lagos may not be fit for consumption (Oshibanjo et al; 2000). The possibility that the same situation may be applicable to other cities in the country such as Aba metropolis prompted this study.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

People’s assessment on the quality and health implications of the major brands of sachet water in two local governments of Aba South and Aba North in Aba, Abia State, Nigeria revealed that sensory evaluation of the products with regards to colour, odour and wareness of water borne diseases were low while taste, particle size or suspended material perceptions and health hazard of the main brands were alarming. The physico-chemical characteristics of the sachet waters were within the recommended limits of the NSDWQ while the total coliform and mesophilic counts were above the recommended limits, calling for more proactive regulations and monitoring of the sachet water factories in the study area, to ensure safety of public health in the study area.

5.2 Recommendation

It is therefore suggested that extensive surveillance of the industry is necessary and more stringent regulations by the regulatory and statutory agencies (NAFDAC and SON) should be developed and enforced to safeguard the health of the people. Also, an environmental awareness campaign should be organized to educate members of the community on the proper disposal of waste, management and protection of their water resources. These would drastically reduce acute problem of water related diseases, which are endemic to the health of man.

  1. Further studies should be conducted within the area to determine the sources of bacterial contamination.
  2. The Nigeria Urban Water Company Limited and The Food and Drugs Authority should carry out thorough checks on the facilities of these water producers before licensing them.
  3. The regulatory authorities mentioned above should undertake routine checks of licensed sachet water seller.
  4. The producers of these sachet water should also be sensitized on the need to keep their premises neat to prevent contamination.

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