1 Kebbi State University of Science and Technology Aliero

2 12Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kebbi State University of Science and Technology Aliero, Nigeria



Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right critical for health, yet a large portion of the global population lacks adequate and uncontaminated water sources. This study aimed to assess the bacteriological quality and public health risks of well water in Zuru. Twelve (12) samples from wells used for drinking purposes were collected across four (4) areas (Rikoto, Jarkasa, Zango, and Tudun wada). Standard Plate Count and Total Coliform Count were conducted using the Spread Plate Method and Most Probable Number Technique, respectively. The risk of contamination was evaluated using the World Health Organization's sanitary inspection checklist and guidelines for drinking water quality. The results showed a range of bacterial loads of 14.3±4.04x105- 76.5±31.34x105 CFU/mL and MPN ranged from 290-9.1MPN/100ML. Various bacterial contaminants, including Escherichia coli, Vibrio spp, Enterobacter aerogenes, Klebsiella, and Staphylococcus aureus were isolated. Escherichia coli (33.33%), Vibrio spp (25%), and Staphylococcus aureus (16.66%) were the most frequently isolated contaminants. Based on WHO criteria, eight wells were categorized as posing a very high risk. Factors such as proximity to rubbish, standing water within 2 meters of the well, cracks in concrete walls, and uncovered wells were associated with higher contamination rates. The findings indicate significant contamination in a substantial proportion of the well water samples used for drinking purposes. To mitigate public health risks associated with contaminated well water, it is recommended to focus on sanitation improvements, proper construction and maintenance of wells, and fostering collaboration among local authorities, community leaders, and stakeholders.