Bacteriological and physicochemical properties of drinking water (tap, well and borehole) in Sokoto metropolis were investigated to determine the level of contamination and the persistence of target organisms. A total of 270 samples comprising of 90 well water samples, 90 tap water samples and 90 boreholes water samples were obtained from some parts of Sokoto metropolis and analyzed using standard procedures. Total coliform count, heterotrophic plate count, physico-chemical properties feacal-coliform count and the presence of Escherichia coliEnterobacter species, Bacillus subtilisShigella species, Salmonella species, Citrobacter species, Staphylococcu saureus and Bacillus cereus were determined. Biochemical identification showed that out of the 108 confirmed Escherichia coli isolates, 51(47%) were from well water and of the 42 Enterobacter species recovered 19 (45%) were from well water while5 (42%) out of 12 Salmonella species were also recovered from well water. The tap water had 26 (24%) Escherichia coli, 13(30%) Enterobacter, 3 (25%) Salmonella species, 5(71%) Bacillus species and other unidentified organisms while in contrast, borehole water had 31 (29%) Eschericia coli, 10 (24%) Enterobacter, 4 (33%) Salmonella species, 2 (26%) Bacillus and other unidentified organisms. No Vibrio species were isolated in all cases. The molecular analysis showed that out of the 79 isolates identified from biochemical analysis, 40 isolates were further subjected to molecular analysis using microgen GN-ID System (kit method).There were 13 (33%) inactive Eechericia coli, 5 (13%) active Eschericia coli and 10 (25%) were other organisms, while the remaining 12(30%) were not identified. The physicochemical properties show that the highest pH was in borehole water sample (6.73) while the lowest was in well water samples (5.7). The highest Electrical conductivity was in tap water samples (142.67 µs/cm), while the lowest was in well (5.8 µs/cm). The highest value of dissolved oxygen was in borehole water samples (8.83 mg/l) and the lowest was found in tap water samples (3.57 mg/l). The highest BOD was in well water samples (15.57 mg/l) while the lowest was in tap water samples (7.73). Therefore, adequate treatment of all waters and public health education are highly recommended.

1.0                                                                       INTRODUCTION
1.1         Background to the study
Water is a common chemical entity that is essential for the survival of all known forms of life (Solanki et al., 2012). The qualities of drinking water are powerful environmental determinants of health (WHO, 2010). Water plays an indispensable role in sustenance of life and it is a key pillar of health determinant, since 80% of diseases in developing countries are due to lack of good quality water (Chessbrough, 2006). Drinking water quality management has been a key pillar of primary prevention of infections for over one and half centuries and it continues to be the foundation for the prevention and control of water-borne diseases (WHO, 2010). Water is the most abundant natural resource; although, it is not readily available in the form required by man (Obi and Okocha, 2007). The provision of good quality household drinking water is often regarded as an important means of improving health (Essien and Olisah, 2010). Good quality water must be colourless, odourless, tasteless and free from faecal pollution (Ezeugwunne et al., 2009; Omalu et al., 2010). Water plays an important role in the prevention of diseases; taking eight glasses of water daily minimizes the tendency of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50% as well as reducing the risk of other cancers (Oparaocha et al., 2010).

In many developing countries, availability of good drinking water is a major and critical problem and· it is a matter of great concern to our societies depending on non-public water system (Umezuruike et al., 2009). Increase in human population poses a great pressure on provision of safe drinking water especially in developing countries (Umezuruike et al.,2009). Consequently, water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid often have their outbreak especially during dry season (Banu and Menakuru, 2010). Contaminated water is a global public health threat placing people at a risk of a host of diarrhoeal and other illnesses (Umezuruike et al., 2009). Although water can contain undesirable chemicals (from natural sources), the major risk to human health is faecal contamination of water supplies. Serious ill health can be caused by water contaminated with faeces being passed or washed into rivers, streams, pools or being allowed to seep into wells or boreholes (Cheesbrough, 2006).

Water of good drinking quality is of basic importance to human physiology and man's continued existence depends very much on its good quality and availability (Umezuruike et al., 2009). The provision of potable water to the rural and urban populations is necessary to prevent health hazards. Before water can be described as potable, it has to comply with certain physical, chemical and microbiological standards, which are designed to ensure that the water is palatable and safe for drinking (Umezuruike et al.,2009). Potable water is defined as water that is free from diseases-producing microorganisms and chemical substances deleterious to health (Umezuruike et al.,2009). Water can be obtained from a number of sources, among which are streams, lakes, rivers, ponds, rain, springs, taps and wells (Umezuruike et al., 2009). Unfortunately, clean, pure and safe water only exists briefly in nature and is immediately polluted by prevailing environmental factors and other human activities. Water from most sources is therefore unfit for immediate consumption without some sort of treatment (Umezuruike et al.,2009).

Water in nature is seldom totally pure. Rainfall is for example, is contaminated as it falls to earth, as a result of combustion of fossil fuel which add sulphur compound....

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