keywords: Borehole, water, bacteria, mineral elements, quality, Southern Nasarawa
Mineral elements and bacteria in water may have some adverse health effects. The research was carried out to evaluate mineral elements and microbial contamination of some borehole water in Southern Nasarawa state, Nigeria. Levels of Na+ and K+ were determine using flame photometry, while Ca2+ and Mg2+ were quantified with the aid of atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Bacteria were isolated and characterized using standard methods. Concentrations of mineral elements varied according to areas. The highest and lowest mineral contents were recorded at Obi (0.30±0.29 – 12.24±2.90 mg/L) and Keana (0.18±0.14 – 9.74±0.02 mg/L), respectively; and generally varied in the order of Na+ > K+> Ca2+> Mg2+. Concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions at Awe, Doma and Keana were not significantly different (P ≤ 0.05). Concentrations of mineral elements were within the WHO maximum permissible limits for drinking water. The most probable number (MPN) varied between 3.0 x 100 – 1.0 x 103cfu/100mL. The highest total coliform count (TCC) value (18 cfu/100mL) was recorded at Agyaragu in Obi area. Escherichia coli (E. coli), Samonella and Clostridium perfringens were not detected in the borehole water. Minerals and total coliform counts were within the WHO acceptable standard for drinking water. However, low risk may be associated with the consumption of water from the boreholes. Monitoring of water quality from the boreholes is necessary in order to avert any unprecedented health hazard.
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