Bacteriological and Physico-chemical Quality
of Deep Well Water Source in Jimma,
Environmental Pollution Management Research Directorate, Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute, Ethiopia
Submission: October 10, 2019; Published: October 23, 2019
*Corresponding author: Tewodros Mandaean, Environmental Pollution Management Research Directorate, Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute, Ethiopia
How to cite this article:Tewodros Manyazewal. Bacteriological and Physico-Chemical Quality of Deep Well Water Source in Jimma, Southwest Ethiopia
Tewodros Manyazewal . JOJ Pub Health. 2019; 5(2): 555660.
Increase in development has brought about continuous scarcity of water resources in many parts of the world. The sustainability and quality of ground water is vulnerable to overexploitation and contamination due to poor management. This study was carried out to evaluate the bacteriological and physicochemical quality of deep well water at Kito-Furidsa Institute of Technology, Jimma Town to assess its suitability for drinking and other uses. Fecal coliform and total coliform tested positive for the tap water sample. All the physicochemical water quality parameters complied with World Health Organization regulatory standards. The water sample at the outlet of the well tested negative for fecal and total coliform which assures the safety for drinking and other purpose based on the World Health Organization standard. The sanitary survey of the stations illustrates that there was low risk of contamination. Hygienic practice should be improved so as to prevent or reduce contamination of water with microbial flora and undesirable chemicals.
Keywords:Coliforms; Deep well; Drinking water; Sanitary survey; Water quality
Water is one of the most important elements for each way of life. It is vital to keep life on earth. It is also essential for the composition and renewal of cells. However, human beings continue to contaminate water sources causing water-related diseases . Drinking water quality which refers to the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of water and waterborne diseases treatments is critical for public health . It is the measure of the state of water in relation to the requirements of or more biotic spices and / or any need or human purpose . The dependence of groundwater is increasing in most of the dry and semi-arid regions of the world as a result of vagaries of the rainy season and shortage of source water . A comprehensive study on urban water supply systems in developing countries revealed that almost list 60 percent of the populations are still reliant on the underground source of drinking water specifically in outside of the city areas and distant villages . About 1.1 billion people in the world have not had water source or system which is uncontaminated [6,7]. Waterborne diseases transmissions have been a concern for years . Bacteria, viruses and parasites that are born from the water estimated to produce about four billion cases of diarrhea every year worldwide. Around the world, it is estimated that more than two million people, almost all newborns and children under five die due to water borne illness every year [7,9]. The microbiological quality of drinking
water is a concern to consumers, water suppliers, regulators and public health authorities. The potential of drinking water to transmit microbial pathogens to great number of people causing subsequent illness is well documented in many countries at all levels of economic development .
The importance of improved water supply in the process of disease prevention and health promotion has long been identified. It is also described as one of the essential components of primary health care in the Alma-Ata Declaration . The activities of international drinking water supply and sanitation decade signifies role that safe water supply could potentially play towards reaching the goal of health for all . Access to drinking water and sanitation in Ethiopia is the lowest in the world. Almost 50 million people do not have access to clean water, while 56 million have no access to sanitation, according to the Ethiopian water sector report of 2008. Water-related diseases and sanitation such as cholera, fever, yellow hepatitis, diarrhea and typhoid takes the lives of hundreds of people in Ethiopia every year [1,11]. The water coverage of Ethiopia is about 53% as reported by Ethiopian Ministry of Water Resource . This study can give valuable information about the current states of the well water source for those who are responsible to have regular monitoring and maintenances of the water system and for the users in having proper use and hygienic practice.Moreover, it can serve as base line data for researcher for further
Using appropriate data collection techniques, the data
was collected from Kito-Furidisa deep well water source. One
grab sample was taken from station 1 (deep well) and two
independent grab samples were taken from station 2 (tap water)
in two separate days at 6:30 local time, which was pick hour of
water usage and analyzed separately. The sampling stations
were critically described using observational checklist during
sanitary survey of the area. After sterilization the samples were
collected in glass bottle and transported to the laboratory for
the bacteriological quality analysis of the well water source,
also the sample were not exposed to light and transported in
an insulated container filled with ice to protect those indicators
for bacteriological analysis from distraction and the analysis
was performed within 6 hours of sample collection. For
physico-chemical parameters sample collection the sampling
bottles were washed with non-phosphate detergent, rinsed
thoroughly with running water and rinsed with distilled water.
Because of the inherent instability of certain variables like
nitrate and ammonia-nitrogen they were preserved with 2 mL
of concentrated H2SO4 and stored at 40C . Finally, after
sample collection the samples were packed and transported
to laboratory for sample analysis by using standard laboratory
methods and procedures.
Prior to the actual study a pre-test for field and laboratory
instruments were conducted giving emphasis on observation
of certain instruments for proper functioning and to ensure
the validity of instruments and results were monitored by
performing appropriate calibration of instrument using blank
during volume trick analysis to minimize possible errors from
After conducting a pilot study to check the precession of
the instruments the collected water samples were analyzed
in the laboratory using standard methods and procedures.
pH and temperature of the samples was determined by using
portable standard pH meter and thermometer respectively.
The Chloride concentration of the water samples were detected
by Argentometric Titration . The Fluoride content was
determined by Alizarine Photometric Method. Ammonia
and Nitrate were measured by Direct Nesslerization and
Phenoldisulphonic Acid Method as nitrate nitrogen respectively
and the total hardness of the water samples were determined
by EDTA Titrimetric Method . For bacteriological analysis
(i.e. fecal coliform and total coliform) the collected samples
were analyzed by Most Probable Number (MPN) method. After
sample incubation for required time it was possible to isolate
and determine the fecal coliforms from non-fecal coliforms due
to their incubation tolerance at a temperature of 44oC for 24-
hour incubation time. Sanitary survey was carried out based
on physical inspection, of the well water system and how the
system is operated and maintained, using standard sanitary
Higher value of chloride 53.3 mg/L, nitrate 2.37 mg/L and
ammonia 0.11 mg/L and lower values of hardness 20.4 mg/L
and pH 7.64 were recorded at tap water sample station 2 (Table
1). The pH value of the water samples from station 1 and station
2 were 7.94 and 7.61 respectively. The pH values of the two
stations were within WHO optimum limits 6.5 the minimum
and 8.5 the maximum value. The temperature value of 16.62oC
was recorded at station 2 and 14.2oC at station 1. Higher value
of temperature at station 2 was mainly due to the exposure of
water pipeline to the sun after leaving station 1.
The Chloride concentration in the water samples were 51.3
mg/L at station 1 and 53.6 mg/L at station 2. These values
are below the WHO quality standard for drinking water of
250 mg/L. The Fluoride consecration of the samples was 0.63
mg/L at station1 and 0.57 mg/L at station 2. The permissible
limit for fluoride concentration ranges from 1-1.5 mg/L .
Fluoride has a significant mitigating effect against dental
caries if the concentration is approximately 1 mg/L. However,
long term exposure or consumption of higher concentration
of 4 mg/l or more can cause dental fluorosis and in extreme
cases even skeletal fluorosis . Nitrate concentrations in the
samples were 2.46 for station 1 water sample and 2.53 mg/L
for station 2 water sample. High concentrations more than 45
mg/L of NO3- may give rise to potential health risks such as
methemoglobinemia or blue-baby syndrome particularly in
pregnant women . Total Hardness of the water sample from
station 2 was 20.4 mg/L and 22.5 mg/L for station 1 water
sample. These values are within the range of 0-60 mg/l which
is soft water as described by United States Geological survey
and World Health Organization. Ammonia concentrations of the water samples were 0.09 mg/L and 0.12 mg/L. The minimum
value was for the sample from station 1 and the maximum was
from station 2 water sample. The concentration of ammonia in
the samples are below the WHO recommended standard of 0.5
mg/L. According to World Health Organization (WHO), the level
found in ground water is typically below 0.2 mg/L.
Through the microbial analysis of station 1 abstracted water
sample did not revealed the presence of total coliform and fecal
coliform. The bacteriological analysis of station 2, based on MPN
count in 100 mL sample, were 6 CFU for total coliform and 3
CFU for fecal coliform. This result revealed that the sample from
station 2 did not meet WHO standard of zero fecal coliform and
less than 5 CFU per 100 mL total coliform for safe drinking water,
but station 1 was within standard. The total and fecal coliform
count of station 2 was higher than station 1. This was basically
due to the break of the continuity of the main distribution
line which results in cross contamination as observed during
sanitary survey (Table 2).
Increased level of fecal and total coliform indicates the
lack of water treatment and poor management of water
harvesting system. Since contamination after collection, during
transportation and storage is increasingly being recognized as an
issue of public health importance it may require treatment such
as boiling or treatment with hypochlorite solution since that will
kill most microbial parasites before drinking [17,18]. Ground
water is a relatively safe source of potable water compared with
other unprotected water sources e.g. rivers, springs, rainwater
. Samples taken from station 1 in this study contain coliform
count below standard by MPN technique. However, the sample
from station 2 was identified to have a little higher than the
The on-site inspection (sanitary survey) of the water source,
facilities, equipment’s, operation and maintenances of station
1 revealed that the station was in good condition with a score
of 35 which is lower than 45 that recommended by WHO. The
physical on-site measurements were noted the distance between
the proposed stations and potential source of contamination.
Also, during this evaluation station 2 was considered to be at
risk of contamination with leakage through the break of the
distribution line when compared with station 1 based on WHO
standard. Sanitary survey is meant to identify problems which
may affect the quality of the water
The study has shown that generally physiochemical
parameters of groundwater from selected well were found to
be acceptable according to the guidelines for drinking water
provided by the World Health Organization for drinking and
domestic activities with the exception of pH which was low (out of
recommended range) for all boreholes and hand-dug wells. The
microbial quality of water at the point of usage were unsuitable
for human consumption without treatment. Treatment and
hygienic practice should be improved so as to prevent or reduce
contamination. Replacement of damaged pipelines and lining
of sewer drains is necessary to prevent the leakage of sewage
in pipes and seepage through unlined channels and prevent
the mixing of sewage with ground water. Government must be
determined to increase regular monitoring and enforcement of
drinking water quality.
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