MICROBIOLOGICAL AND PHYSICOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF VARIOUS SACHET WATER CONSUMED IN COMMUNITIES IN OWERRI WEST, IMO STATE, NIGERIA
Ihesie Francisca Nkeiruka, Dozie Ikechukwu Nosike Simplicius, Okoronkwo Ngozi, Nwanya Emmanuel*, Okoroafor Ikenna Emmanuel
This research work was conducted to determine the microbiological and physicochemical state, and quality and safety of selected sachet water brands consumed in Nekede and Ihiagwa communities in Owerri West LGA, Imo State, Nigeria. Ten (10) popular sachet water samples were randomly collected from both communities (Nekede and Ihiagwa) in Owerri West and the physicochemical and microbiological properties were analyzed. Twelve bacteria were isolated, of which, three of the isolates were Gram negative bacteria (Chromobacterium sp., Flavobacteriumsp. and Pseudomonas sp.), four were non – spore forming Gram positive bacteria (Micrococcus sp., Staphylococcus sp., Corynebacteriumsp., and Aerococcus sp.) and five species of spore forming Gram positive bacteria (Bacillus sps.). The physicochemical analysis of the samples indicated that only sachet water samples 5, 9, 10 were below the WHO permissible limit for pH level (6.5 – 8.5). The temperature range of the samples were 30.00C – 32.10C, indicating levels above the permissible limit of WHO (270C – 290C). These results obtained for pH and temperature may be attributed to the presence of acidic metabolites and changes in environmental condition. The level of calcium 26.24 – 35.20mg/l and 29.24 – 38.20mg/l, chlorine 68.00 – 82.00mg/l and 74.10 – 94.24mg/l, magnesium 9.45 – 22.10mg/l and 12.50 – 24.10mg/l and hardness 65 – 84mg/l and 70 – 88mg/l for the sachet water samples were within the permissible limit of WHO. The results for Most Probable Number (MPN), Salmonella – Shigella and Vibrio counts indicated that all the samples analyzed recorded zero count for Coliform and Vibrio species suggesting that the samples are not contaminated with fecal material. The result also indicated a higher total culturable heterothrophic bacteria count ranging between (1.2 102 - 2.9 102cfu/ml for sachet water samples. Hence, public education should be initiated and intensified on the need to purify water to make it fit for drinking and other domestic purposes.
Keywords: Culturable, Isolates, Microbiological, Physicochemical, Sachet water.
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