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The bacteriological quality of traditional water sources in north-eastern Imo State, Nigeria

You are viewing information about the paper The bacteriological quality of traditional water sources in north-eastern Imo State, Nigeria.

Journal: Epidemiol Infect 1987/10/01
Published: 1987
Authors: Blum, D.;Huttly, S. R.;Okoro, J. I.;Akujobi, C.;Kirkwood, B. R.;Feachem, R. G.
Address: Department of Tropical Hygiene and Tropical Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Monthly bacteriological water testing of traditional water sources (ponds, rivers, unprotected springs and traditional wells) used by five villages in northeastern Imo State, Nigeria, was conducted during the period January 1983 to August 1985. The membrane-filtration technique was used to detect faecal coliforms (FC) and faecal streptococci (FS). Evidence of faecal pollution was seen throughout the year for all water sources. During the study period, the monthly geometric mean counts per 100 ml of water (all sources combined) ranged from 760 to 17877 for FC and from 678 to 17394 for FS. The peak period of faecal pollution occurred during the transition between the dry and wet seasons and in the early wet season. During this peak pollution season (February-May), the geometric mean counts were 2.5-7.2 times higher than in the remaining part of the year for all source types except rivers, with ponds being the most heavily polluted. Preliminary findings on the sensitivity and specificity, in this tropical environment, of the standard membrane-filtration technique for enumerating FC are presented. The implications of the findings of this study for the environmental control of waterborne and hygiene-related diseases are discussed.

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