State of well-water quality in Kakua Chiefdom, Sierra Leone

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Water is the difference between living and non-living and water for drinking should be pollutant free. Thus, in supplies for urban and rural consumption, water quality is one of the most critical parameters to verify. Well and/or open-water systems are easily liable to anthropogenic contaminations, the source of most water-borne epidemics especially in developing countries like Sierra Leone. This study analyses 10 representative well-water systems for 18 water quality parameters in Kakua Chiefdom of Bo District, Sierra Leone. The study notes that well-water quality parameters such as total dissolved solids (TDS), turbidity, electrical conductivity, coliform and nitrate (NO3) are fairly high above safe drinking water standard. The incidence of coliform in the well waters is highest in April and that of iron (Fe2+) and nitrate is highest in May. The Dipha Street well is amongst the most contaminated and has the highest scores for TDS, non-faecal coliform and fluoride (F). Correlation analysis shows an interesting bond among the water quality parameters, ranging from strongly positive (R = 1.0) to strongly negative (R = −1.0). Fe2+ is strongly positively correlated with most of the well-water quality parameters. Irrespectively, the use of contaminated water in domestic and/or agro-industrial sectors could pose various health risks and epidemic outbreaks of different intensities.

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