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[This article belongs to Volume - 57, Issue - 05]

Abstract : Water is heavily exposed to contamination as this is the ubiquitous source for most of the water needs. This situation is exaggerated by the excessive population, heavy industrialization, rapid urbanization, and improper sanitation. Comprehensive measurement and knowledge extraction of water quality is therefore pivotal for ensuring safe and hygienic water use. The thermal springs of Souk Ahras have garnered renown in Algeria for centuries due to their therapeutic benefits in treating specific infections. To mitigate health risks linked to the therapeutic use of these thermal waters, a series of sampling, physicochemical, and microbiological analyses were conducted on spring waters from three sites: Hammam Tessa (E1), Ouled Zaïd (E2), and Hmamin (E3), in July 2020. The physicochemical parameters of the sampled waters at the thermal station exhibited variations according to standards. The latter is distinguished by its mesothermal water (35°C), elevated conductivity (ranging from 2 to 4 mS/cm), and substantial levels of nitrate (80 to 90 mg/L), calcium (260 to 357 mg/L), chloride (213 to 637 mg/L), and magnesium (38 to 130 mg/L). Bacteriological analyses unveiled microbial loads displaying significant discrepancies among the three sites. Contamination indicators of fecal pollution (total coliforms, fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, and fecal streptococci) were evident in these thermal sources during the sampling period. These study findings should urge responsible authorities to implement necessary measures for monitoring and controlling the quality of these thermal waters.