International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences
ISSN: 2319-7706 Volume 2 Number 8 (2013) pp. 21-40
Bacteriological profile and physico-chemical quality of ground water: a case study of bore hole water sources in a rural Ghanaian community
Stephen T. Odonkor1,3* and Kennedy K. Addo2
1Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission P. O. Box LG 80, Legon-Accra, Ghana 2Department of Bacteriology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG 581, Legon-Accra, Ghana 3Department of Environmental Science, University of South Africa (UNISA) P. O. Box 392, UNISA 0003, South Africa *Corresponding author e-mail:
Water is a natural resource and is essential to sustain life. Its importance can therefore not be overemphasized. Poor drinking water quality has been linked to several diseases of man including diarrhea particularly in developing countries where availability of portable water is a big challenge. The aim of this paper was to investigate the bacteriological and physicochemical quality of borehole water in Dangme west district of Ghana, with the view to assist policy planners in setting standards to prevent ground water contamination. A total of one hundred and twenty two (122) water samples were obtained from eight hand-dug wells for assessment between June, 2011 and May, 2012. The samples were analyzed for physical, chemical and bacteriological quality following standard procedures. The results were then compared with World Health Organization (WHO) standards for drinking water. Results observed indicates that except for turbidity, total suspended solids, true and apparent colours which were higher than the WHO standards, all other physical properties of the borehole water were found to be within the WHO standards for drinking water. Chemical characteristics of the water show that, with the exception of potassium and the following heavy metals: Lead, nickel, cadmium, and chromium, all the other chemical properties of the water were within the WHO recommended values. Results obtained showed that the bacteriological quality of borehole water was unacceptable. Most Probable Number (MPN) of total coliforms in 100mls of water samples ranged between 0-33MPN/100ml for both total and faecal counts. Three of the samples had total count values of 0MPN/100ml values, which conform to the WHO standard for all drinking water. Additionally, E. coli was isolated from all 8 boreholes (20%), followed by Klebsiella sp. (19 %). Generally, more (67%) microbes were isolated in the dry season as compared to 33% during the rainy season 
Borehole; Bacteriological profile; Ground water; Physico- chemical; Most Probable Number (MPN); Coliforms; Ghana.