Physical and microbiological analysis of drinking water of Oshikhandass village, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Objective: The objective was to collect specific physical and microbiological information on drinking water quality and educate users of the risk of water-borne diseases.
Methods: Over five months, 148 representative drinking water samples from heterogeneous sources were collected, including samples from uninhabited areas, inlets and outlets of two water reservoirs in the village, distribution sites of each water reservoir, household storage containers, water pits and water channels. Physical analysis comprised turbidity, temperature, pH and chlorine level analysis while microbiological analysis was conducted using Standard Plate Count Technique.
Results: Physiologically, parameters of pH and temperature were within the WHO guidelines whereas turbidity values and chlorine residues were beyond desirable limits. Microbiologically, the total colony counts/ml reflected an alarming health hazard. Additionally, seasonal fluctuations in the physical parameters and high incidences of thermo-tolerant E.coli were identified in drinking water.
Conclusion: Overall, the quality of drinking water does not meet WHO safety recommendations, likely due to fecal contamination and poor sanitation practices i.e. open defecation, lack of hygiene, use of traditional methods of drinking water storage and poor infrastructure. There is a critical need for improvement in the water supply system and enhancement of public awareness on waterborne diseases.
Learning Areas:Environmental health sciences
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research
Identify poor sanitation factors that potentially contribute to contaminated drinking water. Describe seasonal fluctuations in the physical properties of drinking water and contamination by E.coli.
Keyword(s): Drinking Water Quality, Disease Prevention
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My personal interest in Environmental Sciences and Public Health motivated me to do this field based research on water-borne diseases in rural settings of Pakistan. Besides this intrinsic motivation I have spent a wholesome amount of time and energy to make my work available to general public for awareness, which in my idea allows me to become author for serving the said purpose.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.