Background and Aims: Potable (drinking) water gets altered during its passage through various pipes, open reservoirs and storage tanks. Enteropathogens, most commonly coliforms, generally present in the water at low concentrations can cause serious illnesses. Hospitals, atleast, must provide drinking water which should be free of pathogenic organisms. Thus, the aim of the study was to assess the coliform contamination in drinking water in various medical and dental hospitals in Chennai city. Materials and Methods: Drinking water samples were collected from taps in different hospitals in Chennai at patients consuming point. Water samples were collected aseptically in glass bottles and analyzed for bacteriological quality by membrane filtration method. The results received from the laboratory were analyzed statistically. Results: Out of 30 samples collected, 24 were found to be contaminated with coliform bacteria. Among these, 20 of the medical hospitals and 4 dental hospitals were found to be contaminated. A highly significant amount of samples (p=0.008) were found to be severely contaminated. Conclusion: From the present study, it was observed that drinking water samples collected from medical and dental hospitals had their water testing positive for total coliform. To significantly reduce the rate of infection due to water related diseases, there is a need for improvements in water supply and sanitation services.
Keywords: Coliforms; Hospitals; Water contamination; Water treatment.
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