Spring water quality in the area of Rabat-Sale-Zemour-Zaer (Morocco): microbiological indicators

Document Type : Primary Research paper



The absence of a system of continuous monitoring of the quality of spring waters together with population’s ignorance of the health risk related to the use of those waters in rural areas could expose users to waterborne diseases. The present study aims to evaluate the bacteriological quality of spring waters in the region of Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer during the period 2010-2011. The bacteriological analysis focused on 51 spring waters and was conducted according to ISO method for the detection of coliforms, intestinal enterococci and E. coli. The results showed that 89% of the samples analyzed do not meet drinking water standards of WHO, with a prevalence of 72.5%, 62.7%, 59.8% and 38.2% respectively for total coliforms, fecal coliforms, intestinal enterococci and E. coli. The absence of strain enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157: H7 in all samples was noted. The important deterioration in spring water quality in the studied area is due to many factors: the mismanagement of waste, the shallow depth of the groundwater, the permeability of the aquifer, the distance from the water spring and the source of pollution and to a lesser extent, the development of the immediate surrounding areas in the region RSZZ. The need for a monitoring system is essential for the protection of spring waters and consequently the populations.