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Springs produce water which is considered to be wholesome. Spring water potability in
Ibadan, compromised by contamination at source and consumers’ unhygienic household
practices has not been well investigated. This study therefore assessed water quality from
protected springs and household practices that may affect spring water quality in Ibadan.
This cross-sectional study involved purposive selection of seven out of the 26 protected
springs located in Ibadan North, Ibadan North East, Egbeda and Ona-ara Local
Government Areas. A validated semi-structured questionnaire was used to interview men
and women involved in water collection from 400 randomly selected households.
Standardized sanitary inspection forms consisting of thirteen points for springs and
household storage containers were used to collect data on the risk of contamination.
Duplicate water samples were collected from springs during dry and rainy seasons for
physico-chemical and bacteriological analysis, while forty spring water samples stored in
household containers were also collected for bacteriological analysis using standard
method adopted by the American Public Health Association. Data were analysed using
descriptive, t-test and Spearman correlation statistics.
The participants’ mean age was 38±14.0 years and 83.4% were women. Of those who
treated their water, 12% boiled the water, 9% filtered and 20% added alum before use.
Thirty-three percent washed their storage containers daily, 65% of storage containers
were insanitary and liable to rust, crack or leak, 55% of households had dirty ladles, and
70% of households drink from the ladle for drawing water from the containers, while
animals had access to the storage containers in 17.5% of households. Faecal matter was
found uphill in four springs, mechanic workshop was located beside two springs, and
pool of stagnant water was found within the vicinity of three springs. Positive correlation
(0.441) exists between mean sanitary risk score (8±1.9) and E.coli count (1000cfu/ml),
during the rainy season, implying gross pollution of the springs and high risk to
consumers. The mean physico-chemical parameters of the springs during dry and rainy
seasons respectively were within the WHO limits viz: total hardness (59.4±10.7 and

50.6±8.6)mg/l, lead (0.01±0.0 and 0.01±0.0)mg/l and nitrate (8.1±2.2 and 8.5±1.6)mg/l.
For three springs, electrical conductivity (777±1.4; 437.5±4.9; 789±11.3)μS/cm showed
results higher than WHO/European commission limit of 400μS/cm during the rainy
season. Total coliform count of the springs which greatly differed during dry
(4600cfu/ml) and rainy (2250cfu/ml) seasons was significantly higher than WHO limit of
10cfu/ml. During dry season, five springs (500,1000,700,600&350cfu/100ml) had E.coli
count greater than WHO recommended limit of 0cfu/100ml. Similarly, all seven springs
during rainy season had E.coli count (20,25,20,1000,1800,1800&1800cfu/100ml) greater
than WHO limit. E.coli count reduced significantly from source (1000cfu/100ml) to
households (14cfu/100ml).
There was pollution at the springs as shown by the high bacterial load, consequently,
exposing consumers to the risk of water-borne diseases. This could be controlled by
frequent chlorination, improvement of sanitary conditions and education on handling
practices. Use of different water treatment schemes like solar disinfection is advocated, as
well as regular cleaning and disinfection of storage containers.
Keywords: Protected springs, water quality, sanitary inspection, sanitary risk score




1.1 Background
Water is essential for life and a basic requirement for the healthy functioning of all the
world‘s ecosystems (Lentonet al., 2005). It exists in three forms- gas, liquid and soliddepending
on the prevailing temperature. In its purest form, water exhibits physical
properties of 100oC for its boiling point, 0oC for its freezing and has a density of 1. All
chemical substances that exist in dual state, solid or liquid, contract as they grow
cooler. However, water has quite a distinct characteristic. With a fall in temperature, it
contracts, but a further decrease below +4 oC, water begins to expand which leads in
an increase in volume. In its solid state, water differs from other substances, in that it
floats on the surface instead of sinking. This is explained by its further expansion as it
The chemical properties of water are such that they allow life to perpetuate. Plants
carry water from the depths of the soil up to the top of large trees (UNEP and WHO,
1996). If the surface tension of water were low, as in the case of many other liquids,
the plants could not absorb water. This would be the end of vegetation and animal
Adequate hydration is an absolute requirement for health and all active life. This need
is felt in the great value placed on this peculiar substance. Water constitutes more than
half of the human body, varying between individuals and generally dropping with a
corresponding increase in age (Walters, 2008).
The amount of freshwater on earth is limited, and its quality is under constant
pressure. A higher percentage of about 97% of all waters on earth is contained in the
ocean, while the remaining 3% sustains life on earth (USGS, 2010). Hence, preserving
the quality of freshwater is important for drinking water supply, food production and
recreational water use.
1.1.1 Role of Water in Socio-Economic Development and Civilization
Human development and population growth exert many and diverse pressures on the
quality and quantity of water resources and on access to them. Access to potable
drinking water was and still is a major factor in socio-economic development and
civilization. Historically, civilization has flourished around major water ways: the
inhabitants of the ancient city of Egypt depended solely on the Nile River. Trade
flourished around cities that have easy access to water bodies. Large metropolises such
as London, Paris, Tokyo, New York city and Lagos owe their success in part to their
proximity and the resultant expansion of trade via water.
Water is critical to all facets of sustainable development from environmental
protection and food security to increased tourism and investment; from women
empowerment and education of girl-child to reductions in productivity losses due to
illness and malnutrition (Lentonet al., 2005). Thus, increasing access to domestic and
potable water supply as well as improving water resources management is an entry
point for efforts to help in the development of countries.
1.1.2 Water and Development
Access to safe, potable and adequate water is critical to the development of any nation.
The growth and development of any nation to a large extent depends on the quality
and quantity of water available to its citizenry. A necessary condition for sustainable
development is the availability of water in adequate quantity and quality (Kundzewicz,
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on water and sanitation, Goal 7: Target 10
states that by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe
drinking water and basic sanitation will be halved (UN, 2013). The attainment of the
MDG will not only provide good health, but will have a positive impact on the
economy of all nations.
The recommendation for MDG on water and sanitation: The international community
needs to support African countries in implementing national strategies to achieve the
water supply and sanitation targets. This will require an estimated US$5.8 billion per
year in external financing (UN, 2008a).
In a recent report from UN (2013), over the past 21 years, more than 2.1 billion people
gained access to improved drinking water sources; with 89% of the global population
having access to improved sources of drinking water in 2010. This means that the
MDG drinking water target was met 5 years ahead of schedule, despite significant
population growth.
1.1.3 Impact of Water on Public Health
The adverse impact on public health from poor water supply have long been
recognised in both developing and developed countries, taking the form of disease
outbreaks and also contributing to disease load of any community (Ford 1999;
Payment and Hunter 2001). Water-related infectious diseases of public health
importance, such as cholera, have influenced social and political development. Since
1817, there have been at least seven (7) cholera pandemics and most have provided
examples of issues of pathogen emergence (WHO, 2003).
One of the causes of child mortality is as a result of lack and unsafe drinking water.
Nearly 2 in 10 children have no source of safe drinking water. This proportion has led
to a daily child mortality of 3,900, especially in Africa and Asia (Lentonet al., 2005).
According to WHO (2003), about 80% of all diseases and one third of all deaths in
developing countries are related to water-related diseases, such as diarrhoea, malaria,
schistosomiasis, river blindness, guinea worm, and others which kill globally perhaps
25,000 human beings a day.
The magnitude of the public health gains derivable from use of safe, improved and
increased volumes of water are felt directly in all aspects of health, social life and
economy of a nation. Most importantly, improved access to clean and potable water
supply, a major public health benefit, is achieved. There is also an increase in time
saved from the lengthy distance travelled to collect water and time involved in water
collection. The time saved could be channeled to productive activity (including
education), child care, small-scale business and food preparation. The health gains
accruing from improved and increased volume of water are felt in the control and
reduction of water-borne diseases, especially diseases transmitted by the faecal-oral
route. In places where basic access service level of clean and potable water has not
been achieved, hygiene cannot be assured and consumption of water may be a risk
(Howard and Bartram, 2003).
1.1.4 Global Water Consumption and Access.
Globally, one billion people are currently without access to improved water supply.
Most of these people live in Asia and Africa. For example, in Africa, 2 out of 5 people
lack improved water supply (WHO and UNICEF, 2008). According to Shiklomanov
(2000), as at the year 2000, 27% of the population of lesser developed countries did
not have access to safe drinking water.
Figure 4.1 shows the global water stress with the indicators. Some of the indicators
highlighted are droughts, extended dry seasons and shrinking glaciers.
As reported by Lentonet al, (2005), the countries where access to water is poor and
progress toward the Millennium Development Goal is stalled or reversing include five
in Africa (Ethiopia, Mauritania, Madagascar, Guinea, and Togo), one in East Asia and
the Pacific (Papua New Guinea), two in the Arab States (Oman and Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya), and one in Latin America and the Caribbean (Haiti). Countries with better
prospects for meeting the goal but where challenges are still formidable include eight
in Africa (Uganda, Malawi, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Namibia, Côte d‘Ivoire, and
South Africa), two in East Asia and the Pacific (China and the Philippines), and one in
Latin America and the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago).
Access to drinking water is measured by the Millennium Development Goal (MDG)
indicator of proportion of population using improved drinking water source
(WHO/UNICEF, 2012). In Sub-Saharan Africa, a total of 63% of the population were
shown to have access to an improved source of drinking water in 2011 as against in

  1. (Table 1.1)
    Figure 1.1: Global Water Stress Map.
    Source: Chung (2008)
    Table 1.1: Proportion of Population Using Improved Source of Drinking
    Water (%)
    1990 2011
    Total Urban Rural Total Urban Rural
    World 76 95 62 89 96 81
    70 93 59 87 95 79
    Northern Africa 87 94 80 92 95 89
    49 83 36 63 84 51
    Latin America
    and the
    85 94 64 94 97 82
    Eastern Asia 68 97 56 92 98 85
    Eastern Asia
    excluding China
    96 97 93 98 100 91
    Southern Asia 72 90 66 90 95 88
    Southern Asia
    excluding India
    78 94 72 87 93 84
    71 90 62 89 94 84
    Western Asia 85 95 69 90 96 78
    Oceania 50 92 37 56 95 45
    Caucasus and
    Central Asia
    89 97 81 86 96 79
    98 99 94 99 100 97
    Source: UN, 2013.
    1.1.5 Water Supply Situation in Ibadan
    In her efforts to adequately manage challenges posed by environmental factors, the
    Oyo State Government of Nigeria in 1992, requested to join other 14 cities across the
    world already engaged in the SCP/EPM process. By 1994, the Sustainable Ibadan
    Project (SIP) came into reality by the endorsement of the UN-Habitat. Consequently,
    many environmental problems were identified, prioritized and solutions were sought.
    These included: street trading, mismanagement of water shed, urban poverty, housing
    shortages, poor accessibility and unplanned city growth, shortages in water supply,
    gross inadequate public utilities and poorly managed solid waste disposal. Of these,
    waste and water management were topmost on the list and required urgent and
    immediate attention. To this effect, working groups for water and waste management
    were formed (SIP, 2004).
    Some of the working groups were involved in water management- natural spring water
    development, boreholes and deep well, as well as, mini water schemes.
    The spring water development project started in 1996 with the rehabilitation and
    protection of three (3) natural springs: Akeu/Osun in Ibadan North-East LGA, Moga in
    Ona-ara LGA and Agbadagbudu in Ibadan North LGA. These were completed in
    November 1996, April 2002 and May 2002 respectively. Subsequently, replicates of
    these protected springs were developed- Onipasan, Sango/Isopako and Adegbayi in
    Ibadan North East, Ibadan North and Egbeda LGAs respectively. Later, the Yemoja-
    Olodo natural spring was rehabilitated (SIP, 2004)
    1.2 Problem Statement
    Water is essential for both economic and social welfare of a nation. A nation is not
    regarded as developed without the provision of safe, clean and potable water for its
    citizenry. The quantity and quality of water delivered or obtained and used by
    households is pertinent for domestic water supplies. It influences sanitation, hygiene
    and the health of the public in general. The quantity of water used by households
    depends on accessibility to water source. Primarily, the quantity of water available and
    used by households is determined by distance to the water source, quality and cost
    expended. It has been noted that in many large cities where provision of water is
    inadequate, there is little or no shortage of fresh water resources. Thus, the paradox of
    ‗inadequacy of supply in the midst of abundance‘ exists.
    Statistics provided by UNICEF (1996) showed that less than 45 percent of Nigerians
    indicated that their main sources of water are unsafe and inadequate. As of 2000 it was
    estimated that one-sixth of humanity (1.1 billion people) lacked access to any form of
    improved water supply within 1 kilometre of their home (WHO and UNICEF, 2000).
    The lack of clean water and sanitation leads to a wide range of diseases. These
    diseases associated with lack or inadequate water supply as well as poor sanitation
    includes cholera and typhoid. The most affected groups are children, immunocompromised
    persons and other vulnerable groups such as aged persons.
    According to Clasen and Bastable (2003), contaminated drinking water is the main
    contributor to an estimated 4 billion cases of diarrohea each year, thus, causing about
    2.2 million deaths, mostly among children under the ages of 5. Globally, nations face
    the challenge of contaminated water; hence, it has led to the outcry and need to
    improve the assessment of the world‘s water sources, which will impact on health.
    Springs, underground water sources, are widely used sources of water. They are
    considered to be aesthetically acceptable but poor and inadequate protection at the
    source, as well as, unhygienic household handling practices may lead to its
    contamination. It is noted that drinking water may become contaminated following its
    collection from these protected sources and during the storage at homes (Moll et al.,
    The city of Ibadan has about twenty-four identified springs which supply clean water
    to the different communities in and around where they are located (SIP, 2004).
    There is dearth of information on quality of spring water from protected sources and
    the household practices which may contaminate it in Ibadan. This study seeks to
    breach the gap and gather information on the quality of these protected springs and the
    household practices that may affect its wholesomeness.
    1.3 Justification of the Study
    A reliable safe water supply plays an important role in disease prevention, especially
    by facilitating personal, domestic and food hygiene. Contaminated and poorly
    managed water sources can contain chemicals, microbiological or radiological hazards
    which can lead to sickness. Clean, uncontaminated and adequate water supply
    improves personal hygiene and also aids in combating diseases.
    There is a direct link between population growth and stresses on water supply.
    Continuous population growth will lead to greater water consumption and waste. It is
    paramount that the challenge of water quantity and quality is addressed as it has direct
    impact on the health of a nation‘s citizenry.
    This study seeks to assess the quality of drinking water from protected spring sources
    from four Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Ibadan. It involves assessment of the
    physico-chemical parameters, and bacteriological characteristics of water from spring
    sources and storage containers. In addition, prevailing environmental and sanitary
    conditions of the springs and household water storage containers were assessed.
    Furthermore, assessment of the effective use of these springs with regards to the
    optimal, hygienic and consistent use will provide information on their acceptance by
    the users.

1.4 Objectives
1.4.1 Main Objective
The main objective of this study was to assess thequality of drinking water from the
protected springs and household storage containers and the risk of contamination from
household water handling practices.
1.4.2 Specific Objectives
The specific objective is to:

  1. Assess the prevailing environmental and sanitary status of the springs.
  2. Determine the physico-chemical quality of water from spring sources during dry
    and rainy seasons.
  3. Determine the bacteriologicalquality of water from spring sources during dry and
    rainy seasons.
  4. Determine the bacteriological quality of spring water stored in household
  5. Determine the risk of water contamination from springs and the household water
    storage containers.
  6. Assess the community user‘s knowledge on effective utilization of the springs.

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