PHYSIOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF STREAM WATER AND BOTTLE WATER
Water is vital for life. However, it also serves as the commonest route of transmission of a number of infectious diseases. The WHO has estimated that up to 80% of all sickness and disease in the world is caused by inadequate sanitation and polluted water. Nigeria faces a number of problems regarding both its drinking water quality and availability. The municipal water supplies are inconsistent and unreliable. Not only the shortages in quantity, but also the compromised quality of municipal tap water has become a major public health issue (Warner N.R. et al., 2007). Throughout Nigeria, people are facing health problems resulting from water contamination. In the context of growing health consciousness and chronic water shortages, most of the urban residents have switched to bottled water as a safe alternative. The public perception is that bottled water is regularly of high quality. This belief is encouraged by publicly reported problem of municipal tap water as well as the public perception of purity driven by advertisements. However, many studies have shown that these beliefs need not always be true. Samples of nine brands of bottle water of 20 ml capacity were analysed twice for various physicochemical as well as bacteriological parameters during June, July and August. All the physicochemical parameters like pH, DO, hardness, alkalinity, chloride were within WHO acceptable limits. Ammonia was detected in some samples but is within the limits set by WHO. Iron and Nitrates were found in small quantities but within the limits set by WHO. From the bacteriological point of view, 66% of the total samples were heavily contaminated with coliforms during the test in June/July. During the test in February/March, 89% of the total sample was found to be contaminated with total coliforms whereas 66% were contaminated with fecal coliforms. From the analysis of bottle water marketed in Kathmandu valley, it was concluded that the bottle water and stream samples are heavily contaminated with coliform bacteria and unsatisfactory for drinking purpose.
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