Physicochemical and bacteriological quality assessment of the Bambui community drinking water in the North West Region of Cameroon
In order to ascertain water quality for human consumption, physical and chemical parameters, together with faecal forms of bacteria were evaluated in the drinking water resources of the Bambui community in the North West region of Cameroon. This study was necessitated by the occasional presence of suspended particles in the water and typhoid cases recorded in the Bambui community. Samples of tap water collected from Niba, Atunui and Tubah quarters in the town of Bambui were analyzed for physical, chemical and bacteriological characteristics using standard methods. Results obtained indicated that the water samples were contaminated to different extents by bacteria and heavy metals due to lack of disinfection, uncontrolled defecation, pipe leakages and the use of fungicides for agricultural activities. All the samples contained the faecal forms of bacteria. The level of water pollution increased in the order Nibah<Atunui<Tubah when compared with World Health Organization standards. A highly significant difference (p < 0.05) was recorded for pH, N-NO3, N-NH4, SO4 2-, Fe, Zn and Ca contents of the water samples between the months of December 2013 and April 2014. Significant positive and negative correlations were recorded between some physical, chemical and bacteriological variables of the samples with the sulphate content of the water samples being highly significantly and negatively correlated (r = -1.000, p < 0.01) with all the bacteria (entero-bacteria, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus, Salmonella and Proteus) content of the samples. The results presented therefore attest that the Bambui Community drinking water needs appropriate attention from water authorities in particular and the community in general. The public is informed that although the water has no odour and looks clean, it contains infectious bacteria and thus should be treated by chlorination or boiling before use.
Keywords: Water resources, bacteria, health, contamination, disinfection and maintenance