Evaluation of Microbiological and Physicochemical Parameters of Alternative Source of Drinking Water: A Case Study of Nzhelele River, South Africa
Joshua N. Edokpayi*, 1, John O. Odiyo1, Elizabeth O. Popoola2, Titus A.M. Msagati3
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2018
First Page: 18
Last Page: 27
Publisher Id: TOMICROJ-12-18
Article History:Received Date: 21/11/2017
Revision Received Date: 11/1/2018
Acceptance Date: 17/1/2018
Electronic publication date: 28/02/2018
Collection year: 2018
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Access to clean and safe drinking water is still a problem in developing countries and more pronounced in rural areas. Due to erratic supply of potable, rural dwellers often seek for an alternative source of water to meet their basic water needs. The objective of this study is to monitor the microbiological and physicochemical water quality parameters of Nzhelele River which is a major alternative source of drinking water to villages along its course in Limpopo province of South Africa.
Membrane filtration method was employed in evaluating the levels of E. coli and Enterococci in the river water from January-June, 2014. Specialized multimeter was used to measure the pH, electrical conductivity and turbidity of the river water. Ion Chromatograph was used to measure major anions such as fluoride, chloride, nitrate and sulphate in the water.
High levels of E. coli (1 x 102 - 8 x 104 cfu/100 mL) and enterococci (1 x 102 – 5.7 x 103 cfu/100 mL) were found in the river water and exceeded their permissible limits of 0 cfu/100 mL for drinking water. Turbidity values ranged from 1.12-739.9 NTU. The pH, electrical conductivity, chloride, fluoride, nitrate and sulphate levels were below their permissible limits for drinking water.
The river water is contaminated with faecal organisms and is unfit for drinking purposes. However, the levels of the major anions accessed were within the permissible limits of drinking water.