Bacteriological quality of water and diarrhoea among ethnic and non-ethnic communities of rural area of West Tripura, India

Himadri Bhattacharjya, Swapan K. Das, Tapan Majumder, Bansi B. Mukhopadhyay, Subrata Baidya, Deep K. Debbarman


Background: Waterborne diseases are the major causes of health seeking by ethnic and non-ethnic communities of West Tripura district of India. Safe and wholesome water is a basic requirement for good health. Microbiological contamination of water is responsible for most of the waterborne diseases and diarrhoea is still a major killer of childhood.

Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted among 177 ethnic and non-ethnic households chosen by multi stage sampling from West Tripura District of North East India during June - July 2016 to assess the bacteriological quality of water and to find out its association with the occurrence of diarrhoea.

Results: Among the ethnic and non-ethnic households shallow tube wells were the source for 52.18% and 62.35 %, deep tube wells for 19.56% and 29.41%, and pipe water for 20.65 % and 5.89 households respectively. Sanitary latrines ware used in 46.73% ethnic and 50.59% non-ethnic households. In both the group filtration was practiced by 85% and no purification by 1%. Covered vessels were used for storing water in 94.57% ethnic and 95.30% non-ethnic households. Source of water was mildly contaminated in 15% ethnic and 10% non-ethnic, moderate and heavy contaminations were 11% and 8% each respectively in both the groups. At the point of consumption moderate and heavy contaminations were 2% each in ethnic households. Mild and severe contaminations were 3% and 1% respectively in non-ethnic group. Diarrhoea was significantly more frequent among households consuming coliform contaminated water (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Half of the study population was using insanitary latrine and one fifth were collecting water from contaminated sources. Hence provision of safe water and promotion of sanitary latrine is needed to prevent waterborne diseases in this community.


Coliform organism, Diarrhoea, Drinking water, Sanitary latrine, Tripura

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