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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 617-622

Quality of drinking water in Menoufia Governorate


Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt

Date of Submission09-Oct-2013
Date of Acceptance01-Nov-2013
Date of Web Publication26-Nov-2014

Correspondence Address:
Ghadeer M El Sheikh
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Gamal Abdel Nasser Street, Shebin Al-Kom, Menoufia 32111
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.145530

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  Abstract 

Objectives
The aim of the study was to assess the quality of drinking water of different sources in Menoufia Governorate.
Background
Access to safe drinking water is one of the basic human rights and is essential for healthy life. Failures in water treatment processes and recontamination of treated drinking water are the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Therefore, monitoring of drinking water from source to tap is an essential step toward hygiene safety.
Materials and methods
A cross-sectional study was carried out in Menoufia Governorate. Five towns and five villages were chosen randomly. Ten samples were taken from the main water stations in these areas and 150 samples were taken around each station. Five samples were taken from private stations, five samples were taken from water carts, and another five samples were taken from home filters.
Results
Parameters of water quality of studied samples were within the Egyptian standards, except for turbidity, iron, manganese, free available chlorine, coliform group, and total bacterial count. Seventeen samples have exceeded the Egyptian standards for turbidity. Regarding manganese and iron, there were 34 and 44% of the samples that exceeded the Egyptian standards for manganese and iron, respectively. Free available chlorine of 41 samples was outside the standards. In all, 22% of the samples showed count above the standard level of total coliforms. In addition, 28% of the samples showed total bacterial count greater than 50 cells/cm 3 .
Conclusion
Parameters of water quality of studied samples were within the permissible limit of the Egyptian standards except for increased levels of turbidity, ammonia, iron, and manganese in addition to presence of residual chlorine concentrations lower than the standards. Similarly, drinking water was also contaminated with coliform bacteria. Therefore, we advocate regular water quality monitoring with special emphasis on water distribution system and private water stations for the safety of public health.

Keywords: bacteriological quality, coliform, drinking water, residual chlorine


How to cite this article:
El Bahnasy R, El Shazly H, Al Batanony M, Gabr HM, El Sheikh GM. Quality of drinking water in Menoufia Governorate. Menoufia Med J 2014;27:617-22

How to cite this URL:
El Bahnasy R, El Shazly H, Al Batanony M, Gabr HM, El Sheikh GM. Quality of drinking water in Menoufia Governorate. Menoufia Med J [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Mar 30];27:617-22. Available from: http://www.mmj.eg.net/text.asp?2014/27/3/617/145530


  Introduction Top


Water is essential to sustain life, and a satisfactory (adequate, safe, and accessible) supply must be available to all. Improving access to safe drinking water can result in tangible benefits to health [1] .

Safe drinking water, as defined by the WHO guidelines, is water that does not represent any significant risk to health over a lifetime of consumption. Hence, Drinking water should be clear and free from objectionable tastes and odors and from harmful chemicals and microorganisms [2] .

The quality of drinking water has attracted great attention worldwide because of implied public health impacts. Many common and widespread health risks have been found to be associated with drinking water in developing countries, a large percentage of which are of biological origin. Unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene have been reported to rank third among the 20 leading risk factors for health burden in developing countries [3] .

In Egypt, water supply and sanitation is characterized by many achievements and challenges. Among the achievements are an increase of piped water supply between 1990 and 2006 from 89 to 99% in urban areas and from 39 to 82% in rural areas, despite rapid population growth and in general a relatively high level of investment in infrastructure. Access to an improved water source in Egypt is now practically universal with a rate of 99% [4] .

In Menoufia Governorate, there are 245 water stations, which are divided into large six surface water stations that provide about 106 915 m 3 /day, combined 28 water stations that provide about 100 162 m 3 /day, and 211 underground water stations that provide 364 099 m 3 /day.

However, there are more than 1% of people in urban areas and 15% of people in rural areas in Menoufia who are still deprived of safe clean water [5] .

This problem may be due to defects related to the drinking water distribution system, such as the aging of some networks, leakage of the sewer systems to the groundwater, deterioration of municipal and buildings' water reservoirs, and improper doses of chlorine. In addition, water is polluted in some regions due to the increase of iron and manganese concentrations [6] .

As a result of this problem, the majority of people are obliged to use other sources of water such as filtered water, bottled water, vended water, and water from private water purification stations that were held by nongovernmental organizations.

Several studies were performed mainly for studying parameters of physical, chemical, and bacteriological quality of governmental water sources.

However, adequate information is not available on the status of drinking water supplied by nongovernmental sources. Hence, this study was undertaken to investigate drinking water quality from different sources in Menoufia Governorate (governmental and nongovernmental).


  Materials and methods Top


This study took place in Menoufia Governorate from the beginning of October 2011 to the end of August 2013. The Menoufia Faculty of Medicine Committee for Medical Research Ethics reviewed and formally approved the study before it began. Approval from Water Company was obtained, and all participants gave oral consent.

In this study, five towns and five villages were chosen by a simple random sample. Ten samples were taken from the main governmental water stations in these areas and another 150 samples were taken from taps around each station. Regarding nongovernmental sources, five samples were taken from Al-Gameia Al-shareia stations, five water samples were taken from water carts, and another five samples were taken from home filters. All water samples were analyzed physically, chemically, and bacteriologically in the laboratories of Ministry of Health. Water samples collection was carried out in accordance to the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water [7] .

For physical and chemical examination, 2 l of water samples from each sampling point were collected in a sterile glass stoppered bottle. Tap water was allowed to run for 10-15 min before running into the bottle. Thereafter, the bottle was stoppered, labeled with full details of source of water, time, and date of collection, and was delivered to the laboratory within few hours of their collection.

For bacteriological examination, sterilized bottles (250 ml) containing a sufficient volume of sodium thiosulphate (18 mg/l) to neutralize the bactericidal effect of any chlorine in the water were used. To avoid tap water sample contamination, taps were sterilized with 5% alcohol and the mouth of taps was flamed and the water was allowed to flow for at least 5 min until free available chlorine reach a constant value, before sample collection. The bottles were stoppered, labeled with full details of source of water, time, and date of collection, and were delivered to the laboratory in an ice-insulated double-walled container and protected from light at least within 6 h.

The basic parameters such as the measure of acidity and alkalinity (pH), electrical conductivity, temperature, and residual chlorine were noted on site. Titration method was used for detecting total alkalinity, total hardness, calcium, and chlorides.

Colorimetric analysis was used for ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, iron, and manganese.

Pour plate method and spread plate method were used for estimation of total bacterial count. Total and fecal coliforms were detected by most probable number and membrane filtration technique. In addition, membrane filtration technique was used for enumeration of fecal streptococci.

Data management

All data were statistically analyzed using the SPSS v.20 computer package and statistical significance was computed using Student's t-test and analysis of variance test for quantitative parametric variables between two groups and more than two groups, respectively. In addition, Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskal-Wallis test were used for nonparametric quantitative variables. The χ2 -test was used for qualitative variables, with a significance level of P value less than 0.05. Pearson correlation was also used to test correlation between two quantitative variables.


  Results Top


Most parameters of water quality of studied samples were within the permissible limits of the Egyptian standards ([Table 1]) except for turbidity, iron, manganese, free available chlorine, coliform group, and total bacterial count. Turbidity values varied from 0.1 to 1.8 nephelometric turbidity unit, where 17.5% of the studied samples exceeded the permissible limits of Egyptian standards [8] . In addition, manganese concentrations varied from 0 to 2.4 mg/l and 34% of the studied samples exceeded the permissible limits of Egyptian standards (0.4 mg/l). Regarding iron, 44% of the studied samples exceeded the permissible limits of Egyptian standards. Free available chlorine of 41 samples (25% of total samples) was outside the regulatory standards (0.2 mg/l). Fourteen percent of the samples showed count above the standard level for total coliforms. In contrast, 17.5% of the samples showed total bacterial count greater than 50 cells/cm 3 . There was a significant negative correlation (P < 0.01) between the level of residual chlorine and the bacterial quality of water samples ([Table 2]). The mean value of total bacterial count among water samples taken from rural areas was significantly higher than those taken from urban ones ([Table 3]). The most surprising observation was the unacceptably high contents of coliform bacteria, both total and fecal, in some samples from private water sources ([Table 4] and [Table 5], [Figure 1], [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]).
Figure 1: Percentage distribution of the studied samples according to bacterial count. TBC, total bacterial count; TCC, total coliform count.

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Figure 2: Percentage of samples with free chlorine lower than the Egyptian standards. (a) Shebin El Kom city, (b) Melieg village, (c) Berket El Sabaa city, (d) Ganzor village, (e) Ashmon city, (f) Al phronia village, (g) Meouf city, (h) Tamalay village, (i) Queisna city, (j) Arab El raml village.

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Figure 3: Range (vertical bars) and arithmetic mean values (dots) of concentrations of manganese, iron, turbidity, total dissolved salts, and total hardness in drinking water from the ten sampling sites in Menoufia.

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Table 1: Distribution of measured parameters in the different water samples


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Table 2: Pearson correlation between residual chlorine and total bacterial count and total coliform count


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Table 3: Comparison between urban and rural samples regarding total bacterial count and total coliform count


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Table 4: Mean values of the measured parameters in different water samples taken from nongovernmental sources


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Table 5: Pearson correlation between turbidity and total bacterial count and total coliform count


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  Discussion Top


The present study indicated that drinking water was contaminated with different contaminants that are responsible for causing numerous human health risks. Turbidity does not have a health-based guideline, but it is recommended that it should ideally be below 1 nephelometric turbidity units for effective disinfection. Seventeen percent of the studied samples had exceeded this guideline. This result is in agreement with studies reported by Cobbina et al. [9] ; manganese concentration varied from 0 to 2.4 mg/l and 34% of the studied samples had exceeded the permissible limits of the Egyptian standards (0.4 mg/l). The highest manganese concentration was found in underground water. This result was also reported by Midrar et al. [10] and Mahmood et al. [11] . In this study, iron concentrations varied from 0 to 2.3 mg/l where 44% of the studied samples had exceeded the permissible limits of the Egyptian standards. This result was also reported by Abdul et al. [12] and Cobbina et al. [9] .

Chlorine residuals of drinking water have long been recognized as an excellent indicator for studying water quality in the distribution network Lienyao et al. [13] and Hashmi et al. [14] . The maintenance of chlorine residue is needed at all points in the distribution system supplied with chlorine as disinfectant to reduce the risk for microbial regrowth [15] .

In this study, residual chlorine was absent in about 9% of the samples, whereas in 17% of the samples it was below the Egyptian standards. This is in agreement with the study by Lou et al. [16] who found in their study in Taiwan that free available chlorine of 103 samples (61.3% of total samples) was outside the regulatory standards.

In this study, although the bacteriological quality of all pumping stations were within the permissible limits of the Egyptian standards, it showed deterioration through the distribution system as 14% of the samples were contaminated with total coliforms and 17.5% of them showed total bacterial count greater than 50 cells/cm 3 . Farooq et al. [17] found that samples from the water distribution networks and even at treatment plants were found contaminated with total coliform and in some sites with fecal coliform. In addition, Shar et al. [18] reported that, of 768 drinking water samples, 567 (73.83%) and 351 (45.70%) were contaminated with total coliform and fecal coliform, respectively. The mean values of total bacterial counts among water samples taken from rural area were significantly higher than those taken from urban ones. This result was supported by Anwar et al. [19] study in the rural area of Punjab in Pakistan, where 91.30 and 95.83% of samples from tap and domestic pumps, respectively, were found contaminated with bacteria as compared with 42.85% of tap water samples from Lahore. This finding may be due to lack of sanitary sewage disposal in the rural areas. Concerning the water samples of the private water sources, the most important observation was the unacceptably high contents of coliform bacteria, both total and fecal, in some samples. This contamination can result from nonaddition of chlorine to water as a disinfectant. Moreover, water drawn from the underground wells is stored in tanks and reservoirs; hence, there is a great chance for bacterial growth.

Summary and recommendations

On the basis of the findings, it was concluded that parameters of water quality of studied samples were within the permissible limit of the Egyptian standards except for increased levels of turbidity, ammonia, iron, and manganese in addition to presence of free chlorine concentrations lower than the standards. Similarly, drinking water was also contaminated with coliform bacteria. Therefore, regular water quality monitoring with special emphasis on proper maintenance of water distribution system and private water stations for the safety of public health and environment is a must ([Figure 1], [Figure 2] and [Figure 3] and [Table 5]).


  Acknowledgements Top


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

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2. World Health Organization (WHO). 'Guidelines for drinking water quality'. Recommendations. 3rd ed. Geneva: WHO; 2008. Vol. 2.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3. World Health Organization (WHO). Emerging issues in water and infectious disease. Geneva: WHO; 2003. Available at: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/emerging/emerging.pdf. [Last accessed on 2003 1 Jul]  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4. Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA). Drinking water contaminants in Egypt. Egyptian state of the environment report 2008: 94.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5. The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. Integrated water resources management plan. Actualizing the right to water. Arab Republic of Egypt: Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation;2006. Available at: http://www.mwri.gov.eg. [Last accessed on 2008]  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6. N Donia.Survey of potable water quality problems in Egypt. Presented at the 11th Annual Meeting of the water technology; 15-18 March 2007; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7. American Public Health Association (APHA). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. 18th ed. MD, USA: American Public Health Association and Water Environmental FoundationEPS Group Inc.; 2005. 255 :129-131.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8. Ministry of Health, Egyptian water quality standards. Minister's Office, Egyptian standards for potable water, 2007; Dissection No. 458  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9. Cobbina SJ, Anyidoho LY, Nyame F, Hodgson IO. Water quality status of dugouts from five districts in Northern Ghana: implications for sustainable water resources management in a water stressed tropical savannah environment. Environ Monit Assess 2010; 167 :405-416.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.Midrar-Ul-Haq, Khattak RA, Puno HK, Saif MS, Memon KS. Surface and ground water contamination in NWFP and Sindh provinces in pakistan with respect to trace elements. I J Agri Biol 2005; 7 :214-217.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.Mahmood S, Maqbool A. Impacts of wastewater irrigation on water quality and on the health of local community in Faisalabad. Pak J Water Res 2006; 10 :19-22.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.Abdul RM, Mutnuri L, Dattatreya PJ, Mohan DA. Assessment of drinking water quality using ICP-MSand microbiological methods in the Bholakpur area,Hyderabad, India. Environ Monit Assess 2012; 184 :1581-1592.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.Lienyao L, Chungsying L, Shyang-Lai K. Spatialdiversity of chlorine residual in a drinking water distributionsystem. J Environ Eng 2004; 130 :1263-1268.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.Hashmi I, Farooq S, Qaiser S. Chlorination andwater quality monitoring within a public drinking watersupply in Rawalpindi Cantt. (Westridge and Tench) area, Pakistan. Environ Monit Assess 2009; 158 :393-403.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.Kitazawa H. Keeping residual chlorine and decreasing unpleasant odor caused by disinfection of tap water. Water Supply 2006; 6 : 193-199.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.Lou J-C, Han J-Y. Assessing water quality of drinking water distribution system in the South Taiwan. Environ Monit Assess 2007; 134 : 343-354.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.Farooq S, Hashmi I, Qazi IA, Qaiser S, Rasheed S. "Monitoring of coliforms and chlorine residual in water distribution network of Rawalpindi, Pakistan". Environ Monit Assess 2008; 140 :339-347.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.Shar AH, Kazi Y, Zardari M, Soomro IH. "Enumeration of total and fecal coliform bacteria in drinking water of Khairpur Sindh". Pak J Med Res 2008; 47 :18-21.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.Anwar MS, Chaudhry NA, Tayyib M. Qualitative assessment of bacteriological quality and chlorination status of drinking water in Lahore. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2004; 14 :157-160.  Back to cited text no. 19
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]


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