The objective of this study is to take an inventory of all the sachet water brands sold in Yaounde and to assess their sanitary quality. This study was carried out on 100 samples, representing 20 sachet water brands sold in the urban city of Yaounde, Cameroon. Selected physico-chemical and bacteriological analyses of the sachet water were done. The results showed that their pH values and nitrate level were in line with the WHO guideline values. The chloride ion contents were significantly lower than the limit values for drinking water, Escherichia coli was absent in all brands and 75% of the samples contained intestinal enterococci. Sachet water brands can be grouped into 3 homogeneous classes based on streptococcal contamination, chloride and nitrate content, and the level of pH. Packaging material and storage conditions (exposure to sun) can aggravate this contamination. Sachet water can be contaminated and become undrinkable.
Key words: Sachet water quality, potability, Yaounde, Cameroon, physico-chemical parameters, bacteriological analyses.
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