Evaluation on factors affecting bacteria growth in collected rainwater

  • Nureleana H. Sarudu
  • Onni S. Selaman
  • Rubiyah Baini
  • Nor Azalina Rosli



Rainwater collected in rural areas may be contaminated and could affect health if consumed. Therefore, the rainwater quality is evaluated by identifying factors that affect the growth of bacteria and how they contribute to the growth. The factors are temperature, pH, oxygen and nutrient concentration which tested using thermometer, pH meter, DO meter and TOC Analyser. Bacteria densities were determined through MPN method using Colilert-18. Results showed Kuching samples have lower water temperature and TOC, less acidic but higher DO compared to Kota Samarahan samples. Evening samples showed lower water temperature and DO, but higher acidity and TOC compared to morning samples. Bacteria densities also showed decrease in readings and only Total Coliform are presence as rainwater collected in an open space. Samples temperature between 26°C and 28°C and pH readings between 5.59 and 6.05 shows that bacteria may adapt and exhibit growth but limited. DO and TOC also decreases between 0.33mg/L and 0.72mg/L and between 0.6340mg/L and 1.9338mg/L respectively. This indicates the uptake of oxygen and usage of organic carbon by the bacteria. These results correspond to the decreasing bacteria densities as due to limitation of oxygen and nutrients concentration and ideal range of temperature and pH for growth.


V. T. Nguyen, "Promoting Rainwater Harvesting in Vietnam Urban Areas", International Conference and Summer School 2007, Univerlagtuberlin, 2008

E. Sazakli, A. Alexopoulos, and M. Leotsinidis, "Rainwater harvesting, quality assessment and utilization in Kefalonia Island, Greece", Water Research, vol. 41, no. 9, pp. 2039-47, 2007.


C. Vialle, C. Sablayrolles, M. Lovera, S. Jacob, M.-C. Huau, and M. Montrejaud-Vignoles, "Monitoring of water quality from roof runoff: Interpretation using multivariate analysis", Water Research, vol. 45, no. 12, pp. 3765-75, 2011.


J. Y. Lee, G. Bak, and M. Han, "Quality of roof-harvested rainwater-comparison of different roofing materials", Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), vol. 162, pp. 422-429, 2012.


G. J. Tortora, B. R. Funke, and C. L. Case, "Microbiology: An Introduction (10th ed.)", San Fransisco: Benjamin Cummings, 2010.

P. G. Engelkirk, J. L. Duben-Engelkirk, and G. R. W. Burton, "Burton's Microbiology for the Health Sciences", Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, p. 433, 2011.

Y.-J. An, D. H. Kampbell, and G. P. Breidenbach, "Escherichia coli and total coliforms in water and sediments at lake marinas", Environmental Pollution, vol. 120, no. 3, pp. 771-778, 2002.


M. A. Bandara, R. P. Silva', and N. D. Dayawansa, "Household Water Security through Stored Rainwater and Consumer Acceptability: A Case Study of the Anuradhapura District", Proceedings of the National Conference on Water, Food Security, and Climate Change in Sri Lanka. IWMI, 2010.

J. F. Mongillo, and L. Zierdt-Warshaw, "Encyclopedia of Environmental Science", University Rochester Press, 2000.

P. Verma, "Cooling Water Treatment FAQ", Books on Water Treatment, 2004.

R. I. Midwest, A. Hittman, and U. S. Office of Air and Water Programs, "Methods for identifying and evaluating the nature and extent of nonpoint sources of pollutants", Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1973.

S. Srivastava, "Understanding Bacteria", Springer Science & Business Media, vol. 30, p.469, 2003.

S. Lingireddy, "Control of Microorganisms in Drinking Water", U.S.A: ASCE Publications, 2002.

R. E. McKinney, "Environmental Pollution Control Microbiology: A Fifty-Year Perspective", CRC Press, 2004.

M. Fletcher, and D. C. Savage, "Bacterial Adhesion: Mechanisms and Physiological Significance", Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.

A. K. Camper, G. A. Mcfeters, W. G. Characklis, and A. W. Jones, "Growth Kinetics of Coliform Bacteria under Conditions Relevant to Drinking Water Distribution Systems", Applied And Environmental Microbiology, vol. 57, no. 8, pp. 2233-2239, 1991.


J. Clement, "Influence of Distribution System Infrastructure on Bacterial Regrowth", London, U.K.: IWA Publishing, 2004.

P. C. DIANE, "Control of Biofilm Growth in Drinking Water Distribution Systems", Washington, DC: DIANE Publishing, 1994.

R. Narayan, S. Bose, and A. Bandyopadhyay, "Biomaterials Science: Processing, Properties and Applications II: Ceramic Transactions", John Wiley & Sons, vol. 237, 2012.


Engineering Services Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, "National Standard for Drinking Water Quality", 2004.

W.H.O., "Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality", vol. 1, 3rd Edition Incorporating 1st and 2nd Addenda, 2008.

How to Cite
Sarudu, N. H., Selaman, O. S., Baini, R., & Rosli, N. A. (2015). Evaluation on factors affecting bacteria growth in collected rainwater. Journal of Civil Engineering, Science and Technology, 6(2), 11-17. https://doi.org/10.33736/jcest.146.2015