Evaluation of water quality and sanitation of reservoirs used in field activities of a military unit in the state of Rio de Janeiro

Adriana Mendonça Gallotti, Hélio Fernandes Machado Júnior, Arlene Gaspar


In the Armed Forces' campaign activities, large troops may be exposed to serious health risks even before war itself. In 2010, for example, the Brazilian Army sent nearly 2,000 men to join the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, which was experiencing a cholera epidemic. This work therefore investigated the water quality and sanitation of the various types of reservoirs used in four field-training activities of a Brazilian Army Unit located in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Physicochemical and microbiological analyses of the water were carried out, and visual inspections and swab samples were collected from the inner surface of these reservoirs for counting coliform bacteria and counting mesophilic aerobic microorganisms. Physicochemical and microbiological analyses of water from different types of reservoirs revealed a lack of conformity with American Public Health Association and Ordinance Number 518, of  03/25/04, of the Brazilian Ministry of Health . It was observed that 50% of the collective and individual reservoirs did not have the desirable minimum levels of Free Residual Chlorine. In addition, in 35.7% of the total collective and individual reservoirs evaluated there was growth of coliform group bacteria and in 28.57% of them the number of heterotrophic bacteria exceeded the maximum recommendation. According to the swabs performed on the inner surfaces, results of the total viable mesophilic aerobic counts were above the recommended levels in 78.57% of the total evaluated reservoirs. Besides that, in the Lyster bags of activities 1 and 2, there was growth of coliforms, or 14.28% of the total evaluated reservoirs.  It was concluded that there were failures in the management of multiple barriers during storage and / or distribution, as well as in the maintenance of disinfection to prevent or eliminate microbial contamination, indicating the need for corrective measures.


armed forces, drinking water, reservoir.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4136/ambi-agua.2573

Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

Editoração:Apoio:Filiada à ABEC: