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Physicochemical and bacteriological analysis of drinking water in public schools of Tarlac City, Central Luzon, Philippines

Corpuz, Alma M.; Mati, Nancy L.; Mina, Erwin C.

This study analyzed drinking water in selected public schools in Tarlac City in terms of physicochemical properties and bacterial content. Bottled water, water from dispensers and tap water from faucets were taken for analyses. Seven schools were included in the study which is comprised of 5 public elementary schools, 1 secondary school and 1 tertiary school. These schools were selected because of the high population of students enrolled and being located along busy streets in the city. Findings revealed that of the 21 samples, two registered abnormal color (30 apparent platinum-cobalt unit for both) and high total dissolved solids (>500mg/mL). Moreover, 11 samples out of 21  had shown total coliform and fecal coliform >8 MPN/100mL;  5 samples positive with E. coli;  and  5 samples with very high HPC (>4000 CFU/mL). The study concluded that some of the water samples are unfit for drinking unless they are boiled. The study recommended that schools voluntarily conduct regular testing of water to ensure safe water for the students. DOH may also conduct random unscheduled water testing to validate voluntary water testing in the schools. Investigation of the incidents of water-borne diseases among the school stakeholders may be carried out in schools found to have positive results to analyze health impact.

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