Sun R, An D, Lu W, Shi Y, Wang L, Zhang C, Zhang P, Qi H, Wang Q. Impacts of a flash flood on drinking water quality: case study of areas most affected by the 2012 Beijing flood. Heliyon. 2016 Feb 19;2(2):e00071. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2016.e00071.
In this study, we present a method for identifying sources of water pollution and their relative contributions in pollution disasters. The method uses a combination of principal component analysis and factor analysis. We carried out a case study in three rural villages close to Beijing after torrential rain on July 21, 2012. Nine water samples were analyzed for eight parameters, namely turbidity, total hardness, total dissolved solids, sulfates, chlorides, nitrates, total bacterial count, and total coliform groups. All of the samples showed different degrees of pollution, and most were unsuitable for drinking water as concentrations of various parameters exceeded recommended thresholds. Principal component analysis and factor analysis showed that two factors, the degree of mineralization and agricultural runoff, and flood entrainment, explained 82.50% of the total variance. The case study demonstrates that this method is useful for evaluating and interpreting large, complex water-quality data sets.