Keywords: rainwater harvesting, contamination risks, cisterns, drinking water, Palestinian Territory, West Bank, nitrate concentration, total dissolved solids, TDSs, water pollution, fecal coliform
Utilisation of drinking water from rainwater–harvesting cisterns in the Palestinian territories: assessment of contamination risk
A set of established precautions and procedures must be followed to ensure water quality in rainwater harvesting cisterns. In this study, 106 cisterns were sampled and 176 cistern owners were surveyed in the northern West Bank region. It was found that although the nitrate concentration and Total Dissolved Solids (TDSs) readings of the sampled cisterns conformed to Palestinian standards, most cisterns were found to contain fecal coliform, exceeding 8000 cfu/ml in many cases. Cistern owners responses revealed an array of malpractices, which are suspected of leading to this contamination risk. Several remedial actions were proposed to alleviate this condition.