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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 1
Statement of The Problem 6
Purpose of The Study 9
Significance of The Study 10
Scope of The Study 11
Research Questions 12
Research Hypotheses 13

Conceptual Framework: 16
Safe water 16
Human impact on fresh water ecosystem 20
Empirical framework: 23
Studies on water contamination/pollution 23
Water related diseases. 32
Water borne diseases 33
Routine water surveillance works 46
Laboratory analysis of water 49
Studies on packaged water. 58
Well construction 67
Theoretical framework: 72
The Miasmic theory of disease causation 72
The Germ theory of disease causation 73
Summary of literature review 77
Research Design 82
Area of Study 83
Population of The Study 84
Sample and Sampling Technique 85

Instrument for Data Collection 86
Validation of the instrument 88
Reliability of the instrument 88
Method of Data Collection 88
Method of Data Analyses 90
Presentation of Data 94
Summary of Result 99
Discussion of Results 101
Implications of The Study 113
Recommendations 115
Suggestions for further study 117


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 70C and 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 selfsustaining 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
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
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

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
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

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

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


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