In many developing countries, the scarcity of potable water is an ongoing challenge. Even when water is plentiful, its quality may be unsuitable for household use such as in the city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is the study area for this investigation. Shortage of potable water has forced inhabitants in the city to rely on water wells dug without adherence to regulations or specifications within perimeters of their homesteads. The water from such wells is often polluted with household waste being generally disposed by burning and burying in shallow pits, thrown in pit toilets or into rivers. Such practices have led to contamination of ground water. This study examines the water quality of drinking water drawn from wells in Fer-bois, which falls under the Kimbanseke municipality in the South East of Kinshasa. The dynamics of well design/location, sources of possible contamination with respect to water treatment and water quality as well as its possible impact on health are examined. The area was shown to have poor groundwater quality with significant amounts of pollutants such as NO3, Pb and Cd leading to environmental and health concerns.
Keywords: contamination, groundwater, physicochemical parameters, waste, water quality, WHO guidelines