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Background: The people of Awka urban show an increasing trend of using well water resulting to unreliable and quality-compromised water supply.
Aim: Effects of depth and seasons on the physicochemical and bacteriological quality of selected well water samples in Awka urban, Anambra State was conducted to determine their quality and suitability for domestic uses. A total of thirty shallow and deep well water samples were collected during the rainy and dry seasons.
Methods: Physicochemical analysis was carried out using standard analytical methods. The total bacterial count was determined by dilution method.
Results: Some of the physicochemical parameters (PH, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, cadmium, lead and arsenic) exceeded the World Health Organization maximum containment levels indicating that the samples were unfit for domestic uses. The bacterial counts ranged from 2.66 to 3.26 logcfu/ml during the rainy season and 2.54 to 3.20 logcfu/ml during the dry season. The total coliform counts also exceeded the W.H.O levels. Citrobacter freundii, Shigella flexneri, Serratia marcescens, Proteus vulgaris, Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis were isolated during both seasons and identified using standard analytical procedures. The bacterium that had the highest frequency of occurrence during the rainy season was Citrobacter freundii (16.55%) while Salmonella typhi had the highest frequency of occurrence during the dry season (17.69%) respectively. Proteus vulgaris had the least frequency of occurrence 5.41% and 4.62% during the rainy and dry seasons respectively. The results were analyzed statistically using two-way analysis of variance. Higher bacterial counts were recorded in rainy season and shallow wells than dry season and deeper wells.
Conclusion: The presence of these bacteria above admissible limits showed that the water lacked proper water management services and may be harmful to humans. There is therefore a need to monitor the well water quality by employing better sanitary practices and subjecting the waters through various forms of water treatments before use to help prevent disease outbreak.
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