M. N. Alo, C. Anyim, and M. Elom
Water quality and treatment is becoming of increasing concern, especially in developing nations, where water quality is poor and proper treatment is lacking. Moringa oleifera is a tropical plant whose seeds contain watersoluble substances that have coagulation activity in water. The coagulation and antimicrobial efficiency of the Moringa oleifera seed solution at different concentrations in turbid surface water (Onu-Ebonyi river) were studied and compared with alum, which is presently the most widely used industrial coagulant. The physicochemical and microbial analysis of the turbid surface water indicated that the water sample has turbidity of 28 NTU and the presence of 30 100 MPN/ml coliform bacteria, 286 10 CFU/ml mesophilic bacteria and 70 10 CFU/ml mesophilic fungi respectively. However, microbial reduction of 70-93.3 % for coliform bacteria, 93.7-98.3 % for mesophilic bacteria and 97-100 % for mesophilic fungi was obtained following coagulation of the water sample with Moringa oleifera seed solution, as the concentration increased from 1-2 %. Also, at 1 % (1g/100ml) by weight concentration, both Moringa solution and alum coagulants gave 62.5 % and 75 % turbidity removal respectively. Moringa seed is non-toxic and environmentally friendly, and unlike alum does not significantly affect the pH and conductivity of the treated water. So, as a natural coagulant, Moringa oleifera seed may be potentially viable substitute to alum in both home and pilot water treatment especially in the rural areas of the developing countries.