Investigation of the physicochemical, microbial and trace metals properties of selected packaged drinking water sold in Kansanga, Kampala, Uganda.

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School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
This study aimed at investigating the physicochemical and microbial properties of Packaged Drinking Water, sold in Kansanga, Kampala. Seventy-two samples were selected by systematic random sampling from local stores in the study area. Three types of Packaged Drinking Water samples (bottled, sachet and handtied) were selected. Spring water samples were used as control samples. Titrimetric techniques were used to determine the Chlorides, Alkalinity and the Total Hardness, while Nitrogen and Phosphorus were determined by Colorimetric methods. The Spread plate technique was used to determine the microbiological purity. Flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry was employed in the determination of Trace Metals. The results showed that the mean values pH, electrical conductivity, colour, turbidity, alkalinity, nitrates, phosphates, chloride and total hardness in all the samples were within the recommended limits of the Ugandan National Bureau of Standards, UNBS (2011). The results of the microbial analysis for total plate count showed that there were microbiological contaminations in the water samples. Except for one bottled water sample (sample BJ), there were no contaminations from total coliform or E. coli found in all bottle water samples. Sachet Water samples having the highest mean concentration of 0.013 + 0.009 mg/L. ANOVA (F:4, α = 0.05) indicated that there were no significant differences in the microbial properties (p < 0.05) for all the PDW samples. Differences, were indicated in the level of metal contaminations. Multiple comparison with Least Significant Differences, LSD, showed that the differences were from both hand-tied and untreated spring water samples. While water samples seemed to be of safe physicochemical properties, contamination by microbes, above the CFU/ml limit recommended by UNBS for drinking water, were visible in all the types of PDW samples. Bottle water is the safest PDW type sold in Kansanga. Two hand-tied samples HC (9.00 ±26.46) and HE (553±4.16) were contaminated with total coliform and sample HI (1.60 ±2.89) was contaminated with E. coli. Except for Hand-tied and Sachet water samples, that were found to be contaminated with Pb, the PDW were found to have safe levels of Mn, Cu, Pb, Fe and Zn. However, it is recommended that one should know the hygiene status of person that prepare the Handtied before buying and even consuming. It is also recommended that care should be taken from manufacture to consumption to avoid water related diseases.
A dissertation submitted to the department of physical sciences, school of engineering and applied sciences, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of Master of Science in Chemistry of Kampala International University
Investigation, Physicochemical, Microbial, Trace metals properties, Packaged drinking water, Uganda.