O. Oyedeji*, P. O. Olutiola and M. A. Moninuola
Continuous increase in the sale and indiscriminate consumption of packaged drinking waters in Nigeria is of public health significance. One hundred and eight samples comprising 16 bottled and 20 sachet water brands purchased randomly all over Ibadan and Ile-Ife cities in South Western Nigeria were analysed for presence of bacterial indicators of water quality. Total heterotrophic bacteria plate counts (HPC) ranged from 2 to 150 for bottled water and 5 to 200 for sachet water brands. One brand of bottled water and eight brands of sachet water had mean HPC greater than 100 per ml millilitre water and thus fell below the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and World Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water standard of 100 HPC per millilitre water. Total coliforms and Escherichia coli were detected in only one brand of bottled water. All brands of sachet water (100%) had total coliforms, four brands (20%) had presence of E. coli while Enterococcus faecalis was recovered from two (10%) of the brands. Most of the sachet water brands fell below WHO drinking water standards and are therefore of doubtful quality. Efforts need to be intensified in the monitoring of activities in this rapidly expanding industry with a view to raising standards.
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