A total of 151 water samples from various sources from tsunami hit coastal areas of Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, were tested for the presence of coliforms and pathogens by rapid water testing kits. The test results showed the presence of coliforms in 56 (37%) water samples but the pathogens like Salmonella spp. and Vibrio spp. were not detected by the rapid detection kits [Table - 1].
The bacteriological analysis of drinking water samples revealed that 13 out of 17 (76.5%) public well water samples, 14 out of 23 (60.9%) bore well samples, 17 out of 43 (39.5%) over head tank samples and nine out of 29 (31%) plastic storage tanks were contaminated with coliforms.
Out of the nine well-water samples from Colachel coastal area tested for specific pathogens, one each of Salmonella Paratyphi B and NAG Vibrio were isolated from two different well water samples. Other bacterial species isolated from well water samples were Aeromonas hydrophila , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , Escherichia coli , Citrobacter freundii and Enterococci . Interestingly a fungus Penicillium oxalicum was also isolated from the well water, which was also positive for Salmonella Paratyphi B[Table - 2].