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Fluoride and bacterial content of bottled drinking water versus municipal tap water

Keywords: Bottled drinking water , fluoride , microbial count , municipal water

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Background: Water is a divine gift. People quench their thirst without questioning the source of water. But, apprehension about contaminants in municipal water supplies along with increased fear of fluorosis made bottled drinking water as one of the important tradable commodities. Objectives: The objectives of the study were to determine and compare the fluoride and bacterial contents of commercially available bottled drinking water and municipal tap water in Davangere city, Karnataka. Materials and Methods: Fifty samples of 10 categories of bottled drinking water with different batch numbers were purchased and municipal water from different sources were collected. Fluoride levels were determined by an ion-selective electrode. Water was cultured quantitatively and levels of bacteria were calculated as colony-forming units (CFUs) per milliliter. Results: Descriptive analysis of water samples for fluoride concentration was in the range of 0.07-0.33 for bottled drinking water, Bisleri showing the highest of 0.33. A comparison of the mean values of microbial count for bottled drinking water with that of municipal tap water showed no statistically significant difference, but was more than the standard levels along with the presence of fungus and maggots. Conclusion: The fluoride concentration was below the optimal level for both municipal tap water and bottled drinking water. CFUs were more than the recommended level in both municipal tap water and bottled drinking water.


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