Introduction. Safe drinking water is essential for human life. It is generally considered that bottled water is safe for usage by people. For long-distance travelers, it serves as the only source of reliable drinking water. But, several studies have reported that bottled water does not always meet the acceptability standards. Objectives. To assess the bacteriological and physical quality of bottled water marketed in major transit areas and to check its compliance with national standards. Methods. The investigating team visited retail shops at three main transit sites for long-distance travelers in Mangalore city. A total of 24 water bottles of 12 brands were randomly selected. The analysis of total viable count (TVC) was done to assess the bacteriological quality of samples. Results. In 3(12.5%) samples, all of which were of local brands, batch number, the period of manufacture, and the period of expiry were not mentioned. Odor and floating bodies were present in one sample each. Five (20.8%) water bottles had been enriched with minerals. Ozone treatment was the most commonly 22(91.7%) used method for disinfection of water. In only 15(62.5%) samples, the bacterial contamination was within acceptable limits certified for drinking purposes. Water samples manufactured by multinational companies (p=0.018), those with batch number mentioned (p=0.042), the best period of manufacture (p=0.036), and long expiry dates (p=0.028) were acceptable for usage. Conclusion. Surveillance of bottled water manufacturing industries in the settings on a regular basis needs to be done by regulatory agencies. These measures will ensure safe and wholesome bottled water for public usage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis