Tag Archives: water quality

Groundwater Quality in the United Arab Emirates

Zhang HW, Sun YQ, Li Y, Zhou XD, Tang XZ, Yi P, Murad A, Hussein S, Alshamsi D, Aldahan A, Yu ZB, Chen XG, Mugwaneza VDP. Quality assessment of groundwater from the south-eastern Arabian Peninsula. Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Aug;189(8):411. doi: 10.1007/s10661-017-6092-2.

Assessment of groundwater quality plays a significant role in the utilization of the scarce water resources globally and especially in arid regions. The increasing abstraction together with man-made contamination and seawater intrusion have strongly affected groundwater quality in the Arabia Peninsula, exemplified by the investigation given here from the United Arab Emirates, where the groundwater is seldom reviewed and assessed. In the aim of assessing current groundwater quality, we here present a comparison of chemical data linked to aquifers types. The results reveal that most of the investigated groundwater is not suitable for drinking, household, and agricultural purposes following the WHO permissible limits. Aquifer composition and climate have vital control on the water quality, with the carbonate aquifers contain the least potable water compared to the ophiolites and Quaternary clastics. Seawater intrusion along coastal regions has deteriorated the water quality and the phenomenon may become more intensive with future warming climate and rising sea level.

Ground Water Quality in Vietnam

Le Luu T. Remarks on the current quality of groundwater in Vietnam. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2017 Jul 24. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9631-z.

This paper reviews the current quality of groundwater in Vietnam. In Vietnam, groundwater is obtained primarily from tubewells, which have high concentrations of pollutants such as As, Fe, Mn, and NH4+. In the areas where groundwater tests were conducted, arsenic levels ranged from 0.1-3050 μg/L, which substantially exceed the standard of 10 μg/L which has been established by the WHO. Contamination sources are distributed over a large area from the Red River Delta in the north to the Mekong River Delta in the south, putting as many as ten million people at risk of adverse health effects. Levels of arsenic and iron in sediment are strongly correlated, which indicate that the presence of arsenic in groundwater results from the reduction of arsenic bound to iron oxyhydroxides. It is important to raise awareness of these issues among the Vietnamese public by disseminating information about the negative effects of contaminated drinking water, as well as carrying out long-term research projects to identify other sources of contamination and improving water treatment technology and water management capabilities.

Improving Private-Well Water Quality, North Carolina

MacDonald Gibson J, Pieper KJ. Strategies to Improve Private-Well Water Quality: A North Carolina Perspective. Environmental health perspectives. 2017 Jul 7;125(7):076001. doi: 10.1289/EHP890.

BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that the 44.5 million U.S. residents drawing their drinking water from private wells face higher risks of waterborne contaminant exposure than those served by regulated community water supplies. Among U.S. states, North Carolina (N.C.) has the second-largest population relying on private wells, making it a useful microcosm to study challenges to maintaining private-well water quality.

OBJECTIVES: This paper summarizes recommendations from a two-day summit to identify options to improve drinking-water quality for N.C. residents served by private wells.

METHODS: The Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative invited 111 participants with knowledge of private-well water challenges to attend the Summit. Participants worked in small groups that focused on specific aspects and reconvened in plenary sessions to formulate consensus recommendations.

DISCUSSION: Summit participants highlighted four main barriers to ensuring safe water for residents currently relying on private wells: (1) a database of private well locations is unavailable; (2) racial disparities have perpetuated reliance on private wells in some urbanized areas; (3) many private-well users lack information or resources to monitor and maintain their wells; and (4) private-well support programs are fragmented and lack sufficient resources. The Summit produced 10 consensus recommendations for ways to overcome these barriers.

CONCLUSIONS: The Summit recommendations, if undertaken, could improve the health of North Carolinians facing elevated risks of exposure to waterborne contaminants because of their reliance on inadequately monitored and maintained private wells. Because many of the challenges in N.C. are common nationwide, these recommendations could serve as models for other states.

Pollutant Loading from Low-Density Residential Neighborhoods, Califorina

Bale AE, Greco SE, Pitton BJL, Haver DL, Oki LR. Pollutant loading from low-density residential neighborhoods in California. Environmental monitoring and assessment. 2017 Aug;189(8):386. doi: 10.1007/s10661-017-6104-2.

This paper presents a comparison of pollutant load estimations for runoff from two geographically distinct residential suburban neighborhoods in northern and southern California. The two neighborhoods represent a single urban land use type: low-density residential in small catchments (<0.3 km2) under differing regional climates and irrigation practices. Pollutant loads of pesticides, nutrients, and drinking water constituents of concern are estimated for both storm and non-storm runoff. From continuous flow monitoring, it was found that a daily cycle of persistent runoff that peaks mid-morning occurs at both sites. These load estimations indicate that many residential neighborhoods in California produce significant non-storm pollutant loads year-round. Results suggest that non-storm flow accounted for 47-69% of total annual runoff and significantly contributed to annual loading rates of most nutrients and pesticides at both sites. At the Southern California site, annual non-storm loads are 1.2-10 times higher than storm loads of all conventional constituents and nutrients with one exception (total suspended solids). At the Northern California site, annual storm loads range from 51 to 76% of total loads for all conventional constituents and nutrients with one exception (total dissolved solids). Non-storm yields of pesticides at the Southern California site range from 1.3-65 times higher than those at the Northern California site. The disparity in estimated pollutant loads between the two sites indicates large potential variation from site-to-site within the state and suggests neighborhoods in drier and milder climates may produce significantly larger non-storm loads due to persistent dry season runoff and year-round pest control.

Impact of Changing Water Supply Quality on Distributed Water

Liu G, Zhang Y, Knibbe WJ, Feng C, Liu W, Medema G, van der Meer W. Potential impacts of changing supply-water quality on drinking water distribution: A review. Water Res. 2017 Mar 19;116:135-148. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.03.031.

Driven by the development of water purification technologies and water quality regulations, the use of better source water and/or upgraded water treatment processes to improve drinking water quality have become common practices worldwide. However, even though these elements lead to improved water quality, the water quality may be impacted during its distribution through piped networks due to the processes such as pipe material release, biofilm formation and detachment, accumulation and resuspension of loose deposits. Irregular changes in supply-water quality may cause physiochemical and microbiological de-stabilization of pipe material, biofilms and loose deposits in the distribution system that have been established over decades and may harbor components that cause health or esthetical issues (brown water). Even though it is clearly relevant to customers’ health (e.g., recent Flint water crisis), until now, switching of supply-water quality is done without any systematic evaluation. This article reviews the contaminants that develop in the water distribution system and their characteristics, as well as the possible transition effects during the switching of treated water quality by destabilization and the release of pipe material and contaminants into the water and the subsequent risks. At the end of this article, a framework is proposed for the evaluation of potential transition effects.

Water Resources Contamination, Democratic Republic of Congo

Kilunga PI, Kayembe JM, Laffite A, Thevenon F, Devarajan N, Mulaji CK, Mubedi JI, Yav ZG, Otamonga JP, Mpiana PT, Poté J. The impact of hospital and urban wastewaters on the bacteriological contamination of the water resources in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A, Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering. 2016 Jul 7:1-9.

Although the United Nations General Assembly recognized in 2010 the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the contamination of water supplies with faecal pathogens is still a major and unsolved problem in many parts of the world. In this study, faecal indicator bacteria (FIB), including Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Enterococcus (ENT), were quantified over the period of June/July 2014 and June/July 2015 to assess the quality of hospital effluents (n = 3: H1, H2 and H3) and of rivers receiving wastewaters from the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The water and sediment samples from the river-receiving systems were collected in, upstream and downstream of the hospital outlet pipe (HOP) discharge. The analysis of E. coli and ENT inwater and sediment suspension was performed using the cultural membrane filter method. The FIB characterization was performed for general E. coli, Enterococcus faecalis(E. faecalis) and human-specific Bacteroides by PCR using specific primers. The results revealed very high FIB concentration in the hospital effluent waters, with E. coli reaching the values of 4.2 × 105, 16.1 × 105 and 5.9 × 105 CFU 100 mL-1, for the hospital effluents from H1, H2, and H3, respectively; and Enterococcus reaching the values of 2.3 × 104, 10.9 × 104 and 4.1 × 104 CFU 100 mL-1, respectively. Interestingly, the FIB levels in the water and sediment samples from river-receiving systems are spatially and temporally highly variable and present in some samples with higher values than the hospital effluents. The PCR assays for human-specific Bacteroides HF183/HF134 further indicate that more than 98% of bacteria were from human origin. The results of this research therefore confirm the hypothesis of our previous studies, indicating that in developing countries (e.g., Democratic Republic of Congo and South India), the hospital effluent waters can be a significant source of the deterioration of the bacteriological quality for urban rivers. The approach used in this investigation can be further used to decipher the pollution of water resources by human faecal contamination. The results of this research will help to better understand the microbiological pollution problems in river-receiving systems and will guide municipality decisions on improving the urbanwater quality.

Comparison of Fecal Indicator Test for Monitoring the Three Gorges Reservoir

Wang Z, Xiao G, Zhou N, Qi W, Han L, Ruan Y, Guo D, Zhou H. Comparison of two methods for detection of fecal indicator bacteria used in water quality monitoring of the Three Gorges Reservoir. Journal of Environmental Sciences (China) 2015 Dec;38:42-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2015.04.029. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Scientifically sound methods to rapidly measure fecal indicator bacteria are important to ensure safe water for drinking and recreational purposes. A total of 200 water samples obtained from the Three Gorges Reservoir during three successive one-year study periods (October 2009 to September 2012) were analyzed using multiple-tube fermentation (MTF) and most probable numbers combined with polymerase chain reaction (MPN-PCR). The MPN-PCR method was found to be significantly more sensitive than the MTF method for detecting Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp., and of equal sensitivity for detecting total coliforms when all surface water samples were grouped together. The two analytical methods had a strong, significant relationship, but MPN-PCR took only 12-18hr, compared with the 3-8days needed using the MTF method. Bacterial concentrations varied per sampling site but were significantly lower in the mainstream of the Yangtze River than those in the backwater areas of tributaries. The water quality of 85.8% of water samples from the mainstream was suitable for use as a centralized potablewater source, while the water quality of 52.5% of water samples from the backwater areas was unsuitable for recreational activities. Relationships between fecal indicator bacteria showed significant correlation (r=0.636-0.909, p<0.01, n=200), while a weak but significant correlation was found between fecal indicators and water turbidity, water temperature, daily inflow, and total dissolved solids (r=0.237-0.532, p<0.05, n=200). The study indicated that MPN-PCR is a rapid and easily performed deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-based method for quantitative detection of viable total coliforms, E. coli, and Enterococcus spp. in surface water.