Physico-Chemical Analysis, Classification of Ground Water, and Impact of Water Quality on the Health of People in Khushab City, Pakistan
a Department of Geological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku, Gadong, BE1410,Brunei Darussalam.
b Department of Earth Sciences, University of Sargodha, Pakistan.
c Faculty of Integrated Technologies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku, Gadong, BE1410,Brunei Darussalam
A study was carried out to analyze the ground water samples from fifty sites within the urban settlements of Khushab city, Pakistan in order to understand the distribution of contaminants and its impact on public health in the studied area. All the water samples were analysed using physico-chemical parameters: pH, Electric Conductivity (EC), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Total Hardness (TH), Ca+, Mg+, Cl- and NO3 by using standard analytical methods. Salinity hazard was evaluated by using EC values inferred from the water samples. Water samples were classified on the basis of TDS and TH. Arc GIS software was used to plot the spatial distribution of contamination, concluded from the observed physico-chemical parameters throughout the study area. A door to door survey was also conducted to get the feedback from 100 people living in the houses, working in offices and shops to know the issues of water quality along with the level of satisfaction for the present water quality. Results showed that pH value ranging between 6.8 and 8.7, EC between 260 and 10290 µS/cm, TDS between 179 and 9410 mg/l, Ca+2 between 1.2 and 11.8 mg/l, Mg+2 between 0.3 and 39.4 mg/l, TH between 6.23 and 216.86 mg/l, Cl– between 0.3 and 344.7 and NO3 between 12 and 62 mg/l. Results showed certain sites indicating poor water quality through deviation from WHO standard values of certain physico-chemical parameters. This showed that ground water at particular sites within the study area was unfit for drinking purpose and its prolonged utilization could cause serious health issues. More than 62% people reported their dissatisfaction regarding water quality and 80% agreed that water quality has drastically declined. Results were also correlated with the data collected from the Tehsil Headquarter Hospital which demonstrated that residents of Khushab city were suffering from the water borne diseases like Hepatitis, Cholera, Gastro, and Kidney stone etc. Almost 40,000 patients from Khushab city and the surrounding villages who suffered from water borne diseases visited the Tehsil Headquarter Hospital in the year 2014. It has been concluded from the study that the ground water of the study area has declined and needs proper and urgent attention from the government and water must be processed through state of the art purification treatment plants, before supplying to people for drinking and domestic purposes.