A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the bacterial quality and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of Enterobacteriaceae from drinking water in Bahir Dar city. A total of 140 water samples were collected in the wet and dry periods from springs (n = 4), reservoirs (n = 10) and private tap water at households (n = 126). Bacteriological analysis of water was conducted using multiple tube method. Overall, 21.4%, 18.6% and 17.8% of drinking water samples had total coliforms (TC), faecal coliforms (FC) and Escherichia coli, respectively. All spring water samples and 29.2% of private tap water had the highest TC load (18 most probable number/100 mL, 95% CI: 100). For FC, 81.4% of the drinking water supplies tested complied with both World Health Organization and Ethiopian Standards. High levels of resistance (98–100%) were observed for ampicillin by Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. All P. aeruginosa isolates and 20 (66.7%) of E. coli revealed multiple drug resistance. Enterobacteriaceae and P. aeruginosa isolates exhibited high levels of antimicrobial resistance. The bacterial quality of drinking water in Bahir Dar city was poor. Microbial surveillance and monitoring with periodic assessment on physical integrity of the water pipelines need to be undertaken.

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