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Drinking Water Quality Status Supplied In Rawalpindi/islamabad And Adjoining Areas During 2013

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Jamal Nasir (Islamabad, Pakistan)


Keyword(s): Sub-theme 1: Water supply and demand,
AbstractABSTRACT Background: Public Health Laboratories Division is the only Public Health Laboratory in Pakistan. Besides performing its other functions the Public Health Laboratories is also monitoring the water quality through its Environmental Health Protection Unit & Microbiology Laboratories. During the year 2013, the department received 753 water samples for Physico-chemical and bacteriological analysis. The present study reveals the water quality in the Rawalpindi/Islamabad and adjoining areas. Aims and Objectives: To evaluate the physico-chemical and bacteriological quality of drinking water samples received in the Environmental Health Protection Unit from Rawalpindi/Islamabad and adjoining areas. Material and Methods: All the samples received for drinking purposes were processed for physico-chemical analysis includes pH, Turbidity, Hardness, Conductivity, Chlorine, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Iron, Zinc, Chloride using Digital meters and LaMotte kits (LaMotte USA). Multiple Tube Method was used for microbiological analysis. All the Physico-chemical and Microbiological results were interpreted according to WHO guidelines for the Drinking water quality standards. Results: A total of 753 water samples were processed for Physico-chemical and Microbiological analysis. The area wise distribution of the water samples was remained as, Islamabad 76.22% (n=574), Rawalpindi 7.83% (n=59) and adjoing areas 15.93% (n=120). Among the total 44.75% (n=337) were found satisfactory. Islamabad 40.06% (n=230), Rawalpindi 76.27% (n=45) and adjoing areas 51.66% (n=62). The frequencies of the source of drinking water was calculated as, boring water 67.33% (n=507), Tap water 7.03% (n=53), Filter water 6.5% (n=49) and 19.12% (n=144) were other sources. The quality of drinking water was significantly unsatisfactory bacteriologically (p=<.0001) due to the presence of Faecal coliforms. Conclusions: As 44.75% of the water samples are below the recommended WHO standards for drinking water, therefore there is a need to take appropriate measures to improve the water quality both physico-chemically and bacteriologically. Introduction Pakistan has faced acute water shortage for the last several years, not only for drinking purposes, but also for agriculture and industries. Safe drinking water is the top priority for basic human health. Insufficient quantity of potable water is being supplied, which also gets contaminated before consumption and people are worried about the un-safe drinking water that is being supplied to them in different parts of the country. Pakistan is among those few developing countries where access to safe dinking water falls far below satisfactory levels. While figures vary significantly, a recent independent study reports that not more than 25% of the population has sustainable access to quality drinking water6. The quality of drinking water in the capital is expected to be (and should be) the best as compared to other cities, however, the same situation exists in Rawalpindi/Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, although it has a relatively less polluted environment as compared to other bigger and older cities like Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad as well as rural areas. Some studies have been reported on limited issues, which showed that the majority of water samples collected from treatment plant, tap, tube wells and wells were unsatisfactory due to presence of bacteria, nitrate-nitrogen 2. Public Health Laboratories Division at the National Institute of Health is the only Public Health Laboratory in Pakistan. Besides performing its other Public Health functions, it is also monitoring the water quality through its Environmental Health & Microbiology Laboratories. During the year 2013, the department received 753 water samples for physico-chemical and bacteriological analysis. The present study deliberates upon the water quality in the Rawalpindi/Islamabad and adjoining areas. MATERIAL AND METHODS Sampling procedure A total of 753 drinking water samples were received in the department for routine analysis and processed for physico-chemical and microbiological analysis, representing different areas of Rawalpini/Islamabad. The most common source of drinking water was boring (n=507), followed by tap water (n=53), filter water (n=49) and other sources (n=144), which included Tank water, Well water, Stream, Spring, Chasma & Lake water. All the samples were received in sterilized glass bottles and were processed for bacteriological and physico-chemical analysis, which included pH, Turbidity, Hardness, Conductivity, Chlorine, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Iron, Nitrate, Zinc, Chloride using Digital meters and LaMotte kits (LaMotte USA). Multiple Tube Method was used for microbiological analysis. All the Physico-chemical and Microbiological results were interpreted according to WHO guidelines for the Drinking water quality standards. Analysis Fifteen (15) parameters were tested according to the standard method procedure printed on the kits. Temperature and pH were recorded, chlorine, (free and total) was analyzed by using LaMotte test kit. Taste, odor, and color were tested in situ and Nitrate-nitrogen was determined by diazotization/coupling. Total hardness, chloride conductivity, total dissolved solids, turbidity, zinc, iron were tested in the laboratory. Total Coliform count (multiple tube method, MPN technique) and Faecal Coliform (presence/absence) were also tested. Analytical Methods of the Parameters. No. of Tests Parameter Method/Instrument Method Description Places Physico-chemical Tests Temperature Digital Thermometer, Hana, HI-8424 EDTA Trimetric Laboratory Chloride La Motte Test Kits, code 7249 Argentometric Laboratory Zinc La Motte Test Kits, code 7417 Colorimetric Laboratory Iron La Motte Test Kits, code 4447 Colorimetric Laboratory Nitrate La Motte Test Kits, code 3110 Colorimetric Laboratory Turbidity Digital Turbidimeter, HF Scientific Laboratory Conductivity Digital Conductivity meter Laboratory Total Dissolved Solids Digital Conductivity meter Laboratory pH Digital pH meter, Hana, HI-8424 Glass Electrode In situ Colour Simple Observation Odour Simple Observation Chlorine (Free and Total) La Motte Test Kits, code 6819 DPD Colorimetric Method Laboratory Hardness La Motte Test Kits, code 4482 Colorimetric Laboratory Microbiological Tests Coliforms Multiple Tube Method MPN Technique Laboratory Faecal Coliforms Presence/Absence Method Shorter Method Laboratory Data processing The results of analysis were compiled according to the WHO guidelines about the quality of drinking water, and the decision was made on the quality of sample as "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory". RESULTS AND DISCUSSION A total of 753 water samples were tested for Physico-chemical and Microbiological analysis during 2013. Out of which 21.38% (n=161) samples were Physico-chemicaly unsatisfactory, 41.83% (n=315) were not safe to dri 1. Afzal BM.J Midwifery Women’s Health. 2006 Jan-Feb;51(1):12-8. Drinking water and women’s health 2. Chung S.H., Her S.O., Nasir J.A., and Noor-us-Saba, Drinking Water Quality Monitoring in Islamabad, National Institute of Health, Islamabad, Pakistan, 2001. 3. de Franca Doria M, Pidgeon N, Hunter P. Perception of tap water risks and quality: a structural equation model approach. Water sci Technicol. 2005;52(8):143 4. JBIC. Special Assistance for Project Sustainability for Metropolitan Water Supply Project (Simly) in Islamaic Republic of Pakistan, SAPS Team for Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Islamabad, Pakistan, 4-1 – 4-2, 1999 5. Mehaffey MH, Nash MS, Wade TG, Ebert DW, Jones KB, Rager A. Environ Monit Assess. 2005 Aug;107(1-3):29-44. 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