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Provision of portable drinking water is of public health concern especially in developing countries where this is unavailable. Microbes are ubiquitous and are known to contaminate materials including food and water. Microbial contamination cannot be detected by sight, smell or taste. A basic laboratory test is the best way to tell if coliform organisms are present as they can be there with no appearance or taste difference. The microbiological quality of drinking water (DW) in Zamfara North Senatorial Zone was examined. A total of 16, two each from each of eight brands of sachet water were bought from water vendors, and were examined for total bacteria load, total coliform and presence of bacteria species using standard microbiological techniques. The result showed that the total viable count of bacteria in all the samples ranged from 6.0×102 CFU/ml to 4.0×108 CFU/ml. Total coliform was 1.8×107 MPN/100 ml for all the four tested samples (D, G, I, J). The organisms isolated were Pseudomonas maltophila, Escherichia coli, Citrobacter freundii, Pseudomonas pseudomollia, Salmonella typhi, Shigella species, and Pseudomonas dimineta. Prevalence of different isolates revealed that Pseudomonas, C. freundii, S. typhi and E. coli were predominant in comparison to Shigella species. The present study revealed that the microbial quality often exceed World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) allowable limit of 1.0x102 CFU/ml for potable water and Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) maximum permissible level of 10 CFU/ml (total coliform) and 0 CFU/100ml. The high microbial isolates and load may have contaminated the water from the environment. These microbes found in the drinking water sources are known to cause several diseases. Present study indicate that water testing would ensure the supply and availability of contamination-free drinking water; and awareness amongst people towards sanitation and hygienic conditions for storage of drinking water is needed to keep away the use of contaminated water. The present study suggests that drinking water sources should be properly treated prior to consumption using appropriate methods; so as to reduce the occurrence of waterborne diseases.
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