This work on Qualitative Analysis of Drinking Water and its Health implications was conducted in Enugu Urban. This work was prompted by the complete acceptance of well, stream and packaged water consequent to perennial water inadequacy/scarcity in the city. The purpose of the study was to find out the quality of drinking water in Enugu Urban and ascertain the health implications to consumers. To pilot the study, four research questions and four hypotheses were formulated in line with stated purposes. Related literatures to the study were reviewed. The Quasi- experimental research design was adopted for the study. Purposively, sixty (60) water samples (15 from wells, 15 streams, 15 taps and15 packaged) were taken from the three density areas (low, medium and high) of Enugu Urban. Data collected were analyzed and, result showed that all water consumed in Enugu Urban contains coliform bacteria in varying degrees. The mean frequency of coliform bacteria in stream water in the three density areas did not differ significantly. Also there was no significant difference in the mean coliform bacteria content in sachet water packaged in Enugu Urban. Based on these findings, it is obvious that out break of any of the water borne diseases is imminent in the city. Recommendations among others included the policing of drainage basins by local government officials to stop the dumping of waste/refuse into them. Mounting of enlightenment programmes on the news media by the State Ministry of Health on water source protection and water sanitation.



Background of the Study
Safe water in sufficient quantity is fundamental to human health. According to Garelick (1987), water is a clear, tasteless and odourless liquid. It is colourless in small quantity but pale blue in deep column. This liquid, Garelick said, has a potassium ion (pH) of 7, temperature between 70and 120C, freezes at zero degree centigrade (0C) and boils at 1000C. Plants and animals and indeed the whole ecosystem for maintenance of homeostasis require water. Water according to World Health Organisation (WHO: 1984) possesses some characteristics and so its quality can be assessed by physical, chemical and biological properties. Physically pure water is tasteless and colourless and as stated by WHO the colour should be below 15 True Colour Unit (TCU), while its turbidity should be below one Nephelo-metric Turbidity Unit (NTU) or one Jacksons Turbidity Unit (JTU). Water also contains some chemicals depending on its source. Biologically, safe water should not contain any microorganism, hence, WHO (1985) warned that the presence of faecal thermotolerant coliform organisms especially Eschericha coliform (E.coli) is a definite indication of water pollution. Therefore, water, which sustains life, becomes dangerous when polluted.

Thus, public health officials are concerned with increasing deterioration of water quality due to industrial, agricultural and urban wastes. Most often these wastes are directed into surface water hence, Hoek, Konradsen and Jehangir (1999) remarked that while the direct use of surface water for drinking seem unacceptable, to the developing world, the presence of surface water for drinking is a blessing. Safe water is globally inadequate and according to the World Bank (2004), about 220 million urban residents in the developing world lack source of safe drinking water near their homes. This report of gross inadequacy persists despite the United Nation’s (UN) great strides in the 1980s. The UN at its World Water Conference at Mal del Plata in 1979 designated the 1980s (1980 – 1989) as the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (Howard and Bartram, 1993). The objective of designating the decade as the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation was to provide safe and adequate water to everybody in the planet.

 To realize this objective, WHO: (1984:104) outlined the following strategies: development   of human resources, encouraging institutional structures, provision of  information system and community involvement at all levels of the project.

On  inception  of  the  decade  WHO  observed  that  the  outlined strategies were not practicable in developing countries due to scarce human and material resources.  Consequently, alternative strategies for realizing the decade’s objectives were recommended thus:

Complementary development of sanitation and water supply. Strategies that would give precedence to underdeveloped population of the rural and urban centers. Programmes that would serve as
models for self-reliant and self-
sustaining actions.
Socially relevant systems that people
can afford.
Participation of communities at all
stages of the project.
Coordination of water supply and
sanitation programmes with those in
other sectors.
Association between water supply and sanitation programmes and other projects for health improvement (WHO, 1984 page 105).

International assistance that could help developing countries realize the decades objective were fostered to provide:

1.                  Technical cooperation among countries to promote and support national programmes for the decade.

2.                  Concentrating technical cooperation of building up national capacities and generating dynamic self-sustaining programmes among developing countries.

3.                  Seeking for and encouraging the external financing of the national decade activities. (WHO, 1984 page 106).

Nigeria, a member of the UN, participated in the decade’s activities. Hence, in chapter 4, section 3c of the National Health Policy (1988), emphasis was laid on the provision of adequate and safe water and basic sanitation facilities to all its citizenry.   In implementing this policy, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources through the World Bank Assisted Water projects developed water schemes. Following this, boreholes were sunk in various states of the Federation.

In Enugu State, the Ajali Water Scheme was constructed and commissioned fully in 1985, to provide water to about 3.3million inhabitants in Enugu Urban (National Population Commission, 2006).

Despite these efforts, the decade’s objectives were not achieved. Observing that potable water scarcity is a recurring problem, the UN in the year 2000 proclaimed that by the year 2015 potable water would have been provided to half of the world’s population as one of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the same time effort is also directed at integrating water, sanitation and hygiene in countries’ disease reduction strategies. To achieve this objective, each year, the World Water Monitoring Day kicks off on September 18 with a data entry deadline of December 18. This monitoring period is an international education and outreach programme that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies (WHO, 2008).

Urbanization and Urban drift/migration with its attendant problems of population explosion, overcrowding and inadequate facilities have compounded and worsened the situation. Water supply is grossly inadequate in Enugu Urban which comprises low, medium and high density areas. This perennial water scarcity has prompted the digging of wells in any available space within premises. Inhabitants that cannot finance the construction of wells, get water from streams (Idaw, Asata, and Ekulu), which meander through the low, medium and high density areas of the city.

Small-scale industrial concerns have also come up with the production of “pure water”, packaged in bottles and sachets. These packaged water have flooded many homes, drinking houses, hotels and restaurants and are distributed to supermarkets and shops across the urban city.

From the foregoing, it would appear that there is availability of water, but how safe the water is for drinking are sources of worry because consumers of water from these sources may be exposed to water borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery and infective hepatitis. It is against this background that this study has been designed to determine the quality of drinking water in Enugu Urban and its health implications.

Statement of the Problem
An average person consumes between 2-5 liters of water per day through food and drinks and 40-60 liters for domestic purposes (Garelick, 1987). However this daily requirement Garelick stated, vary with different communities and depend on the availability of water.

Ideally water should be accessible for domestic purposes and should be pipe borne and distributed by water mains to points where it is needed in homes. These points include the bathtubs in the bathrooms, the toilets and wash hand basins, the kitchen and launderette. Unfortunately, these water mains in most homes in Enugu Urban have remained dry for years.
Adequate and good water supply according to Balance and Gunn (1984), greatly enhances the opportunity for satisfactory personal and domestic hygiene and opens the way for healthy living. For the past five years (2002 – 2007) inhabitants of Enugu Urban have experienced acute water shortage; hence to them water from whatever source will suffice.
Unfortunately in Enugu Urban, there is no major natural water resource (river) from which the Water Corporation could harness drinking water. The closest major rivers are the Ajali and Oji rivers and each is about 30 to 45 kilometers away from Enugu Urban.

The presence of coalfield in the earth layer makes construction of borehole impossible in the city. Consequently; this study has become necessary for the following problems.

1.                  Streams that meander all through Enugu Urban are sources of drinking/domestic water. Upstream, these streams receive domestic and industrial wastes while downstream children are busy loading their handcarts and wheelbarrows with jerry cans of the water for use in the homes.
2.                  Wells are sited and constructed in any available space within the premises to provide drinking water. Considering that plot acreage for low density area is 36 x 36 metres, medium 18 x 36 metres, high 15 x 30 metres (Enugu State Town Planning Authority), the distance between these wells and sources of contamination may be limited to available space within the premises.

3.                  Sachet/bottle water, popularly called “pure water” is taken by all socio – economic groups in Enugu Urban. Though NAFDAC provide checklists and WHO’s drinking water guideline to producers, inscriptions on most packaged water do not reflect the source of the water or the method of sterilization or purification of the water. These create doubt as to the safety of the water for drinking and for domestic uses.

4.                  Most water mains are broken down in areas that still enjoy pipe borne water and children scoop under such mains to collect water direct from the mains. The effect of this act to pipe borne water is unknown.

Outpatient registers in UNTH and ESUTH show that many inhabitants in the area suffer from different types of water borne diseases. Though Sofola and Lawal (1983) carried out related research on domestic water in Lagos and also Alabi and Adesiyun (1986), researched on microbial quality of filtered water in households of a university community in Nigeria, no such research on qualitative analysis of drinking water and it’s health implication has ever been undertaken in Enugu Urban.

These, among others, gave rise to carrying out this research on qualitative analysis of drinking water. The health implications of the results of these analyses were also discussed.

Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative analysis of drinking water in Enugu Urban thereby determining its health implications.

Specifically, the study determined:

1.                  the presence and number of coliform bacteria in well water dug in the low, medium and high-density areas of Enugu Urban.

2.                  the presence and number of coliform bacteria in different streams that meander through the city.

3.                  the presence and number of coliform bacteria in packaged water produced in the city.

4.                  the presence and number of coliform bacteria in tap water obtained from water mains in the three density areas of Enugu Urban.

Significance of the Study
From the result of this study, the inhabitants of Enugu urban will realize whether their sources of water supply are safe or not. The study will show whether or not the wells and streams in Enugu urban are reservoirs of pathogenic organisms that cause water borne diseases. Also the quality of packaged water proliferating homes and eating houses in the city will be made known to the inhabitants. The work will expose the lack of reliable system of piped water in Enugu

Urban and the State Government will recognize the fact that providing potable water to inhabitants of Enugu Urban should be upper most in its priority list.

Foreign agencies like the United Nation (UN), W. H. O. will benefit from this work as they realize that achieving it’s goal number 7 of the MDGs is not feasible by the year 2015 unless it channel some effort to health education, assistance in areas of well construction and development of river basins in Enugu Urban. Number 10 of MDGs Goal No. 7, states that by the year 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation would have been reduced by 50%.

Data from the research would provide base line information for future researchers in the area of Public Health Education.

Scope of the Study
There are three dimensions to water analysis, namely, physical, chemical and biological. However, this study is delimited to biological analysis. This is because physical aspects, which considers aesthetic (taste, colour and smell) according to Schweitzer (2005) carry no health risks while chemical aspect has long time cumulative effects unlike biological aspect. Biological contamination of water give rise to any of the water borne diseases whose effects are immediate and drastic on water consumers.

Consequently, this study addressed the presumptive and confirmatory tests of biological analysis of well, stream, pipe borne and packaged water consumed in Enugu Urban and it’s health implications.

Research Questions
The major research question for this study was, what is the quality of drinking water consumed in Enugu Urban and it’s health implications. The following specific research questions were the basis for the study:

1.                  What is the number of coliform bacteria contained in 100mls of water sample obtained from wells dug in the low, medium and high-density areas of the city?

2.                  What is the number of coliform bacteria contained in 100mls of stream water sample obtained from streams that meander through the low, medium and high-density areas of Enugu Urban?

3.                  What is the number of coliform bacteria contained in 100mls of pipe borne water samples obtained from water mains in the three density areas of the city?

4.                  What is the number of coliform bacteria contained in each 100mls of packaged water in Enugu Urban?

Research Hypotheses
The main hypothesis for this study was that there would be no significant difference in the quality of drinking water obtained from different sources in Enugu Urban.

The following specific null hypotheses formed the basis for the study and were tested at 0.05 level of significant.

1.                  There will be no significant difference in the mean frequency of coliform bacteria content in well water obtained from the low, medium and high-density areas of Enugu Urban.

2.                  The mean frequency of coliform bacteria in stream water obtained from the low, medium and high-density areas of Enugu Urban will not differ significantly.

3.                  There will be no significant difference in the mean frequency of coliform bacteria content in pipe borne water collected from water mains in the low, medium and high-density areas of Enugu Urban.

4.                  There will be no significant difference in the mean frequency of coliform bacteria contained in water packaged in Enugu Urban.

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