A study conducted by researchers of the department of geology of Sri Venkateswara University and published in the recent issue of the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has found that bottled-water units being sold in Tirupati are contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria, reports the Times of India.
As a part of regular study, water samples were collected from packaged water bottles of different brands from retail markets in the town. The researchers found that five out of the nine samples contained harmful faecal coliform bacteria, which also indicated mixing of human waste with the water.
However, they did not find any suspended solids in all the samples, but when a bacteriological test was conducted the contamination was identified. The samples contained bacterial colonies ranging from one to 2,640.
Presence of even one E.coli bacterium indicates unsafe water, and there have been several instances of packaged water contaminated with E.coli.
The researchers also found that the bacteria in the sample have developed resistance to antibiotics, because of which doctors will find it difficult to treat people infected with these pathogens.
They also noticed colonies of beneficial bacteria like Enterococcus. Potable water should not contain any micro-organisms.
The bacteria present in the sample indicates that the manufacturers did not follow the standard water purification techniques of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The researchers have warned that water should be treated well before it gets bottled.
‚ÄúCare should be taken even during transportation and storage to avoid contamination. The quality of material used for manufacture of bottles should also be good to prevent chemical reactions,‚ÄĚ the researchers were quoted in Times of India.