DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20174809

Assessment of the physical, chemical and microbiological quality of packaged water sold in Nnewi, South-East Nigeria: a population health risk assessment and preventive care study

Uzoamaka Ugochinyere Epundu, Nkiru Nwamaka Ezeama, Echendu Dolly Adinma, Benjamin Sunday Uzochukwu, Obed Chukwunonso Epundu, Brian O. Ogbonna

Abstract


Background: Global statistics show that over 1.2 billion people do not have access to potable water and 70% of Nigerians lack access to potable water. Non-availability and/or lack of access to potable water predispose people to preventable life-threatening conditions. This study assessed the physical, chemical, and microbiological quality of sachet and bottled water to generate evidence for planning, policy, and intervention.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional analytic study of the quality of packaged (sachet and bottled) drinking water obtained from consumer households. The potability status of the water samples was assessed by means of qualitative assessments and quantitative laboratory tests. The results were compared to guideline values stipulated by the Nigerian Industrial Standard for Potable Water, NIS 306:2008. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. A p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. The study period was from April 2016 to June 2016.

Results: Of the 35.0 bottled water samples, 18.0 (51.4%), 21.0 (60.0%) and 17.0 (48.6%) had their production dates, expiry dates and batch numbers. All 65.0 (100.0%) samples appeared colourless to the naked eye and visible particles were present in 3.0 (4.6%) of the total water samples. The lead content of 7.0 (23.3%) sachet and 1.0 (2.9%) bottled sample exceeded the guideline value for lead. The pH of 16.0 (53.3%) sachet samples and 27.0 (77.1%) bottled samples fell below the recommended limits for pH. Escherichia coli was found in 4.0 (13.3%) and 15.0 (42.9%) of sachet and bottled water samples.

Conclusions: The study suggested that sachet and bottled water sold in Nnewi have good physical qualities, but poor chemical and microbiological qualities. More of the microbiological contaminant (E. coli) was present in the bottled water than the sachet water.

Keywords


Potable water, Quality, Public health, Packaged water, Disease prevention, Risk assessment, Nigeria

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