By Owuna, JE; Adam, IM; Hanson-Akpan, RI; Zaharaddeen, MA; Yahaya, I; Rebecca, M (2023). Greener Journal of Biological Sciences, 13(1): 24-29.
Return to Issue
Full text – PDF
Full text – HTM
Full text – EPUB
Table of Contents
Greener Journal of Biological Sciences
Vol. 13(1), pp. 24-29, 2023
Copyright ©2023, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)
1. Department of Microbiology, Nasarawa state University Keffi, Nigeria.
2. National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI, Garki, Idu Industrial Area, Abuja, Nigeria.
3. Department of Chemistry, Nasarawa state University Keffi, Nigeria.
4. Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Abuja, Nigeria.
Full Text: PDF, HTML, PHP, EPUB, MP3
Surface water bodies are vital resources that sustain ecosystems and serve as a primary source of drinking water and various domestic and industrial applications. In the Abuja Central Area, the quality of surface water is of paramount concern due to its direct relevance to public health and environmental integrity. This study presents a comprehensive assessment of the bacteriological and physicochemical attributes of surface water in the Abuja Central Area. A total of 64 water samples were collected from four distinct locations within the study area: Central Business District, Garki, Maitama, and Wuse. The samples were rigorously analysed to determine key physicochemical parameters. Furthermore, bacteriological analysis was conducted to assess the heterotrophic count, coliform presence and load, and E. coli count. The findings of this study revealed that aside from TDS and EC that was above WHO acceptable limits, the physical parameters were within acceptable limits. Results also showed that THC ranged from 3.1 – 4.3 x 106 CFU/mL while TCC ranged from 290 – 420 MPN/100mL which are all above WHO limits. E. coli, S. typhi, and S. dysenteriae were the coliforms, with E. coli being the most prevalent. The physicochemical variations underscore the complex interplay of natural and anthropogenic factors influencing surface water quality in urban environments. The presence of pathogenic bacteria in some samples raises concerns about potential health risks associated with waterborne diseases. The results underscore the need for targeted interventions to safeguard the health and well-being of the local population. Additionally, this study emphasizes the importance of continued monitoring of usage by populace and management of surface water resources in rapidly growing urban centres.
E-mail: adammuhammedidris@ gmail.com
Keywords: Surface water quality, bacteriological analysis, physicochemical parameters, urban water resources, waterborne diseases, Abuja Central Area.
Water is an indispensable resource for life and its sustenance, playing a pivotal role in ecological balance, human well-being, and economic development. The quality of surface water sources, such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, is of paramount importance to public health, environmental integrity, and sustainable growth (Olomukoro et al., 2022). The city of Abuja, nestled in the heart of Nigeria, stands as a dynamic urban center experiencing rapid expansion and modernization. Amidst its development, several individuals residing under the bridges and uncompleted structures consume surface water within the Abuja Central Area, and this emerges as a significant concern, warranting rigorous scientific investigation.
The nexus between water quality and public health cannot be overstated. Contaminated surface water harbors the potential to propagate waterborne diseases, causing widespread illness and even fatalities. Microbial contaminants, including pathogenic bacteria, can thrive in surface water, posing threats to individuals who rely on it for drinking, sanitation, and recreational activities. Furthermore, the physicochemical composition of water plays a crucial role in maintaining aquatic ecosystems, influencing flora, fauna, and overall ecological equilibrium (Taiwo et al., 2020; Khan et al., 2013; Pawari and Gawande, 2015; Raji and Ibrahim, 2011).
The present study undertakes a comprehensive assessment of the bacteriological and physicochemical attributes of surface water, an essential resource within the Abuja Central Area. Understanding the microbial contamination and physicochemical parameters of surface water in this region is crucial for effective water resource management and the protection of public health.
By identifying potential sources of contamination and understanding the overall water quality, this research will contribute to the development of effective strategies for water resource management, pollution control, and public health protection. The findings of this study will serve as a valuable reference for policymakers, water management authorities, and other stakeholders involved in ensuring the safety and sustainability of surface water resources in Abuja Central Area.
The study will be conducted in the Abuja Central Area (ACA), which encompasses various surface water bodies, including streams, lakes, and ponds. Abuja Central Area, consisting of the Central Business District (CBD), Maitama, Garki, and Wuse is located within the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria with over 1.5 million people. ACA lies in latitude 9.072264N and longitude 7.491302E within the Guinean savanna mosaic zone of the West African sub-region and experiences a hot, humid, and temperate climate. The area is majorly characterized by public and civil servants, highbrow businesses and buildings, and a lot of ongoing constructions.
A systematic sampling approach was used to collect surface water samples from different sampling points within the Abuja Central Area. Sampling points were selected randomly, but certain factors such as accessibility, representation of different water sources, and potential sources of contamination were considered. The water samples were collected using aseptic sampling techniques and equipment to ensure proper hygiene and minimize contamination during the sampling process. 900mL samples were collected in triplicates (300mL each) from each collection point per sample location. Each sample from the various locations was mixed thoroughly in a 1L sterile container and immediately transported to the laboratory for further analysis.
Bacteriological assessment – total heterotrophic and total coliform count – of the water samples was carried out according to the method described by Abolude et al. (2019) and Anyanwu and Okoli (2012). Briefly, a volume of 1 mL from each water sample was carefully transferred into 9 mL of normal saline, serially diluted, and 0.1 mL aliquots of 10-5 were spread onto duplicate nutrient agar plates. The plates were incubated aerobically at 37°C for 24 h, and the mean number of discrete colonies on each plate was recorded as the total heterotrophic count in CFU/mL.
For total coliform and E. coli count, the most probable number (MPN) technique involving three dilutions of the water samples (10, 1, and 0.1 mL) was employed, and the results were expressed as MPN/100mL.
Isolates from MPN analysis were subjected to Gram staining, growth on selective and differential media (MacConkey, EMBA, and SSA), and biochemical tests including indole, methyl red, Vorges Proskauer, citrate, oxidase, and catalase tests as described by Chuku et al. (2016).
The physicochemical assessment involved measuring various parameters to evaluate the chemical and physical properties of the water samples and was carried out as described by Kolawole et al (2011) and Anyanwu and Okoli (2012). The parameters measured include pH, temperature, conductivity, salinity, magnesium hardness, total hardness, calcium hardness, dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total dissolved solids (TDS), total suspended solids (TSS), and specific ions (e.g., nitrate, phosphate, potassium, chloride).
The measurements were conducted using standardized methods and calibrated instruments. Multiple samples were taken at each sampling point to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the results. Care was taken to follow appropriate techniques for each parameter to obtain precise and consistent measurements.
The collected data, including bacteriological and physicochemical results, will be compiled and subjected to statistical analysis. Descriptive statistics such as means, standard deviations, and frequencies will be calculated to summarize the data. Graphs, charts, and tables will be used to present the findings in a clear and understandable manner.
Statistical tests, such as t-tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA), were used to determine significant differences among sampling points. The IBM SPSS v25 statistical software was used for data analysis.
Table 1 shows the total heterotrophic, coliform, and E. coli counts of the surface water sampled from the 4 locations in the Abuja Central Area. Central Business District had the highest THC while Maitama had the least THC. For TCC and E. coli counts, Maitama had the lowest counts while Garki had the highest counts for both.
Table 1: Bacterial counts of the surface water in Abuja Central Area.
Key: CBD = Central Business District; THC = Total Heterotrophic Count; TCC = Total Coliform Count
The cultural characteristics, Gram reactions, and biochemical reactions of coliforms observed from surface water in Abuja Central Area are shown in Table 2. E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella species were the coliforms identified.
Table 2: Cultural, Gram stain, and biochemical characterization of coliforms from surface water samples in Abuja Central Area
Key: MR/VP = methyl red Vorges Proskauer, C = Citrate, Oxi = Oxidase, Cat = Catalase, -ve = negative, + = positive, MCA = McConkey Agar, EMBA = Eosin Methylene Blue Agar, SSA = Salmonella-Shigella Agar
All coliforms identified were found in all locations. In all locations, E. coli was the most prevalent; while with the exception of Maitama where both Salmonella typhi and Shigella dysenteriae had an equal prevalence rate of 12.50% (2/16) each, Salmonella typhi was more prevalent than Shigella dysenteriae. E. coli was the most prevalent coliform with a prevalence rate of 37.50% (24/64), followed by Salmonella typhi with a 23.44% (15/64) prevalence rate, and Shigella dysenteriae had the lowest prevalence rate of 15.63% (10/64) as shown in Table 3.
Table 3: Prevalence and distribution of coliforms from surface water samples in Abuja Central Area
Key: EC = E. coli, SD = Shigella dysenteriae, ST = Salmonella typhi, CDB = Central Business District
Table 4 shows the physicochemical assay results of the water samples. Most parameters were within acceptable limits, except for conductivity and total dissolved solids that had average total values of 239.2 and 150mg/L respectively, which are above WHO limits of 150 and 10mg/L respectively.
Table 4: Abuja Central Area surface water physicochemical parameters
The results of this comprehensive assessment of surface water quality in the Abuja Central Area provide valuable insights into the state of water resources in this urban environment. The analysis of bacterial contamination in surface water samples revealed that the total heterotrophic count was higher than WHO limits and ranged from 3.1 x 106 to 4.3 x 106 CFU/mL, indicative of a substantial bacterial load in these waters, relative to the findings by (Jasmine et al., 2019). While these counts themselves do not necessarily indicate a health hazard, they serve as a useful indicator of microbial diversity and potential contamination sources. The findings of this study disagree with the report of Anyanwu and Okoli (2012) who had lower counts from water supplies in Nsukka. However, THC in this study was lower than those of river samples in Zaria reported by Taiwo et al. (2020).
The total coliform count, which ranged from 290 to 420 CFU/100mL, revealed variable levels of fecal contamination across the sampled locations. These counts are extremely high, similar to the findings at Ifaki by Mutiat et al., 2023 and Obiora, 2014, raising concerns about the presence of fecal coliforms in surface waters. Fecal coliforms are important indicators of fecal pollution, and their presence suggests possible contamination by human or animal waste, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases (Taiwo et al., 2020; Franciska et al., 2005).
Furthermore, the identification of specific coliforms is noteworthy. E. coli, S. typhi, and S. dysenteriae were identified, with E. coli being the most prevalent (37.50% prevalence rate). E. coli is a recognized indicator of recent fecal contamination and is often linked to the presence of pathogenic strains. S. typhi and S. dysenteriae are potential human pathogens, underscoring the importance of vigilance regarding water quality in this area. Earlier reports (Taiwo et al., 2020; Obiora, 2014; Musyoki et al., 2013; Anyanwu and Okoli, 2012) have reported similar coliforms from water samples. These microorganisms have been reported to cause various degrees of infections ranging from pneumonia, meningitis, typhoid, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, dysentery, and deaths (Taiwo et al., 2020; WHO, 2011). Thus, strategies for mitigating fecal contamination sources, such as improved sanitation and stormwater management, are crucial.
Physicochemical analysis of the surface water samples yielded results that generally fell within acceptable limits, reflecting the potential suitability of these waters for various uses. However, two parameters, conductivity and total dissolved solids (TDS), exceeded the recommended limits (150 µS for conductivity and 10 µS for TDS) established by the World Health Organization (WHO) (WHO, 2011).
The average conductivity value of 239.2 µS exceeded the WHO limit of 150 µS, indicating a higher concentration of ions in the water. Similarly, the average TDS value of 150 mg/L surpassed the WHO limit of 10 mg/L. Elevated conductivity and TDS values can result from the accumulation of dissolved salts and minerals, often originating from geological sources or anthropogenic activities such as runoff from roads and industrial discharges (Obiora, 2014), further emphasizing the need for monitoring and management. These elevated levels may influence the taste, palatability, and utility of the water. Hence, there is need for a more comprehensive investigation into potential sources of ion contamination. Integrated watershed management, including regular monitoring and source tracking, can aid in identifying and mitigating anthropogenic impacts on water quality.
In conclusion, the bacteriological and physicochemical assessment of surface water in Abuja Central Area revealed the presence of bacterial indicators, potential sources of contamination, and variations in physicochemical parameters, underscoring the importance of continuous monitoring and management of surface water resources in urban environments. These findings emphasize the need for immediate action to address water pollution and ensure the provision of safe water to the community. Public health interventions, source tracking, and improved sanitation practices are essential to reduce microbial contamination, while efforts to manage ion levels and promote sustainable water use are vital for safeguarding water quality and availability.
The results of this study contribute to the understanding of water quality in Abuja Central Area and provide valuable information for decision-makers, policymakers, and stakeholders involved in water resource management. Continued research and vigilance in water quality assessment are essential to ensure the well-being of the population and the sustainability of water resources in the Abuja Central Area. Collaborative efforts among government agencies, researchers, and the community are crucial to address these challenges comprehensively. It is crucial to implement the recommended measures, regularly monitor water quality, and promote public awareness to safeguard water resources and protect public health.
Abolude, D. S., Edia-Asuke, U. A., Aruta, M., & Ella, E. E. (2019). Physicochemical and bacteriological quality of selected well water within Ahmadu Bello university community, Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria. African Journal of Natural Sciences (AJNS) ISSN 1119-1104, 19.
Anyanwu, C. U., & Okoli, E. N. (2012). Evaluation of the bacteriological and physicochemical quality of water supplies in Nsukka, Southeast, Nigeria. African Journal of Biotechnology, 11(48), 10868-10873.
Chuku, A., Etim, L. B., Obande, G. A., Asikong, B. E., & Sani, B. E. (2016). Bacteriological quality of fresh raw beef and chevon retailed in Lafia Metropolis, Nigeria. J Microbiol Res, 6(2), 29-34.
Franciska, M. S., Marcel, D., & Rinald, L. H. (2005). Escherichia coli 0157: H7 in drinking water from private supplies. Journal of Netherlands Water Resource, 39, 4485-4493.
Jasmine S.S.K., Sandhiya D., Summera R. (2019). Bacteriological Quality Assessment of Groundwater and Surface Water in Chennai. Nature Environment and Pollution Technology Vol. 19, No. 1, p. 349-353 2020, 2020.
Khan, N., Hussain, S. T., Saboor, A., Jamila, N., & Kim, K. S. (2013). Physicochemical investigation of the drinking water sources from Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. International journal of physical sciences, 8(33), 1661-1671.
Kolawole, O. M., Ajayi, K. T., Olayemi, A. B., & Okoh, A. I. (2011). Assessment of water quality in Asa River (Nigeria) and its indigenous Clarias gariepinus fish. International journal of environmental research and public health, 8(11), 4332-4352.
Musyoki, A. M., Suleiman, M. A., Mbithi, J. N., & Maingi, J. M. (2013). Water-borne bacterial pathogens in surface waters of Nairobi River and health implication to communities downstream Athi river. International Journal of Life Science and Pharma Research, 3(1), 4-10
Mutiat A. A., Olowomofe T. O., Tawakalit M. M., Oluwayemi J. (2023). Bacteriological and Physicochemical Analysis of Surface. Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research. Volume 51- Issue 4 DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2023.51.008130
Obiora, A. V. (2014). Chemical and microbiological assessment of surface water samples from Enugu area, south eastern, Nigeria. Global Journal of Geological Sciences, 12, 15-20.
Olomukoro, J. O., Obi-Obueze, N. O., Eko-Imirianye, R., Anani, O. A., & Obot, V. (2022). Water quality evaluation using physicochemical and biological indices to characterize the integrity of the Orogodo River in sub-Saharan Africa. Frontiers in Environmental Chemistry, 3, 961369.
Pawari, M. J., & Gawande, S. A. G. A. R. (2015). Ground water pollution & its consequence. International journal of engineering research and general science, 3(4), 773-776.
Raji, M. I. O., & Ibrahim, Y. K. E. (2011). Prevalence of waterborne infections in Northwest Nigeria: A retrospective study. Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology, 3(8), 382-385.
Taiwo, A. A., Abayomi, T. O., Umar, B., Abubakar, N. M., Iduwo, A. A., Ahmed, P. Z., … & Ibrahim, B. B. (2020). Assessment of bacteriological quality and physico-chemical parameters of domestic water sources in Samaru community. Zaria, Northwest Nigeria, Heliyon, 6(8), 04773-8440.
World Health Organization (2011). Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality Vol. 1-4. World Health Organization, Geneva, pp 28.
Cite this Article: Owuna, JE; Adam, IM; Hanson-Akpan, RI; Zaharaddeen, MA; Yahaya, I; Rebecca, M (2023). Bacteriological and Physicochemical Assessment of Surface Water in Abuja Central Area. Greener Journal of Biological Sciences, 13(1): 24-29.
Taking too long?
Open in new tab
Download [533.51 KB]