Access to adequate and safe water is a universal human need. Lack of safe and adequate water supply causes health risk and the situation is serious in developing countries The aim of this study was to determine the bacterial load, physicochemical quality of drinking water in wells, reservoir, taps and household storage containers water samples and to investigate the hygiene and sanitation practices of the consumers in Woreta Town. A cross sectional community based study was conducted from January to March 2016 in Woreta town. A total of 189 water samples were collected from wells, reservoir, private taps and household storage containers in three rounds for bacteriological, physicochemical quality of drinking water and the hygiene-sanitation practices of the consumers were assessed using interview. Bacterial load analysis of water samples revealed that well and reservoir water samples were 100%; 30 (100%) tap water samples and 30 (100%) household storage container water samples were contaminated with total coliforms and did not meet the recommended value of World Health Organization (0CFU/100 ml). Regarding thermotolerant coliforms, one well water sample, 21 (70%) tap water samples and 30 (100%) household water samples were contaminated. The bacteriological load was greater at the household storage container water samples. There was statistically significant difference in total coliform and thermotolerants coliforms among the water sources at p < 0.01. Proper management of water sources, appropriate disinfection of raw water sources with chlorine and promoting good hygiene and sanitation practices are recommended to deliver safe drinking water to the consumers of the study area.
Key words: Bacteriology, drinking water, household, hygiene, physicochemical, tap water.