Faecal Pollution of Well Water in Enugu Metropolis

  • N.F. Onyemelukwe Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus
  • I.S.I. Ogbu Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus
  • U.N. Atuenyi Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus

Abstract

Purpose of Study: We analyzed well water samples from 4 zones, Abakpa, Obiagu, Ogui and Trans-Ekulu, in Enugu Metropolis for evidence of fecal pollution.
Basic Procedure: Five wells were located in each zone by the multistage sampling procedure and water samples were taken aseptically using Gallenkamp apparatus, 100ml volumes were filtered and the filter membranes cultured in duplicate on freshly –prepared MacConkey agar plates and incubated for 24 hours at 370C and 440C. Colonies were counted and identified using morphological and biochemical characteristics. All lactose-fermenters (LF) growing and giving typical biochemical test results at both temperatures were regarded as Escherichia coil and as evidence of fecal pollution of sample.
Results: All, except one sterile sample (9.5%) showed growth of LF at 370C. AT 440C, growth was recorded in 2 samples each (40%) from Abakpa, Obiagu, and Ogui and all samples (100%) from Trans-Ekulu. The mean LF counts per 500ml well water sample at 370C and 440C respectively were Abakpa 296, 26; Obiagu 338, 316; Ogui 192, 46; Trans-Ekulu 176, 176. Bacterial counts did not correlate with the structural features of the wells.
Conclusion: Leakage from drainage pipes, human and animal activities were thought to be the factors in the fecal contamination of Enugu well water. Prompt replacement of damaged drainage structures, hygienic siting and use of Enugu artesian wells are measures that may help decontaminate the water and make it safe for human use.

Key Words: Well water; fecal pollution, Escherichia coli.

[Jnl College Medicine Vol 8(1) 2003: 56-57]
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Articles

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