Bacteriological Quality Of Drinking Water Supplies: A Comparative Study Of Eldoret And Kitale Municipalities .
Introduction: Access to safe drinking water is an important basic need. A large proportion of people in developing countries lack access to safe drinking water. This has resulted in high morbidity and mortality due to diarrhea and other related gastrointestinal infections. Objectives: To determine and compare the bacteriological quality of treated and untreated water supplies in Eldoret and Kitale municipalities" identify possible risk possible risk factors leading to bacterial contamination and also evaluate the efficiency of the treatment process in both municipalities. Study design: This was a cross-sectional comparative study. Sampling technique: A purposive sampling technique was used to group residential areas based on socio-economic status of residents. Stratified random sampling was further used to categorise water source and consumer points thus; treated water taps, wells, boreholes, rivers, and springs. Study population: A total of 350 samples were collected from 209 treated water taps, 123 from wells, 12 from boreholes, 4 and 2 from river and spring respectively. Methodology: Bacteriological analysis involved the use of Membrane filter technique to - isolate total coliforms and faecal thermo-tolerant coli forms contaminants on Endo agar and MacConkey agar respectively. These were further identified by subculture, microscopy and biochemical tests. Researcher administered questionnaires were also used to collect data from residents and water supply operators. Data analysis methods: This involved the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences computer package (SPSS) to process and analyze data, which was then presented in form of tables, graphs and charts. Pearson Chi- square-test was used to test the relationships among variables and draw appropriate conclusions based on the stated objectives and hypotheses. Results: Treated water recorded 25% bacterial contamination in Eldoret and 61.2% in Kitale respectively while untreated water had 89.3% in Eldoret and 77.3% in Kitale Municipality. Resident responses on theefficiency of water treatment was rated 87.7% in Eldoret and 63% in Kitale .The percentage of faecal coliforms isolated in all 350 samples water was rated 34% in Eldoret and 64.35% in Kitale Mdnicipality. However, isolation of faecal thermo-tolerant coliforms was-22:6% and 24j% in Eldoret and Kitale respectively. The diversity of faecal bacterial contaminants isolated were as follows; E. coli (30.4%), Klebsiella (21.1%), Salmonella (17.4%), Pseudomonas (14.4%), Proteus (7.3%), Citrobacter (3.26%), Shigella (2.72), Streptococcusfaecalis (1.96%) id Enterobacter (1.35%). ConcIusion: The results obtained indicated that there was a significant difference in the level bacterial contamination of treated water supplies between Eldoret and Kitale Municipalities. However, there was no significant difference in bacteriological quality of untreated water supplies in both Municipalities. Eldoret Municipality recorded a lower level of isolation of ecal coliforms than Kitale Muncipality. However, there was no difference in isolation of ecal thermo-tolerant coliforms in both sites. Some of the risk factors found to have significant influence on the quality of drinking water included depth of well I borehole, distance from possible contaminating source, poor housing and sanitation, delay in repair of burst pipes and osence of protective cover in wells and boreholes.