THE CONTAMINATION OF SACHET AND BOTTLED WATER WITH PROTOZOAN PARASITES IN ONITSHA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE.
The study investigated the presence of water-borne protozoan parasites in various packaged water samples in Onitsha South L.G.A., Anambra State between March and July 2009. G. lamblia and E. histolytica were identified using the wet mount technique and modified zeihl-neelson staining technique was used to identify C. parvum. A total of 324 samples were examined, 100 bottled water and 224 sachet water from 11 different brands. The frequency and percentage of sachet water found contaminated were 17 (7.59%) while bottled water were 5 (5%). G. lamblia was the commonest parasitic protozoa isolated 11 (3.4%) while C. parvum was the least, 4 (1.23%). The factors influencing the contamination rate of the packaged water were determined but none of these factors were statistically significant using chi-square analysis (P<0.05). The presence of these protozoan parasites in packaged water depends on improper processing and purification procedures, unhygienic handling after production, small size of the pathogens which enable them escape filtration, their resistance to physical water treatment agents and disinfectants, poor storage facilities as well as proximity of the water point to contamination sources.