, Volume 177, Issue 1-4, pp 39-50
Date: 27 Jul 2010

Drinking water quality assessment in Southern Sindh (Pakistan)

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Abstract

The southern Sindh province of Pakistan adjoins the Arabian Sea coast where drinking water quality is deteriorating due to dumping of industrial and urban waste and use of agrochemicals and yet has limited fresh water resources. The study assessed the drinking water quality of canal, shallow pumps, dug wells, and water supply schemes from the administrative districts of Thatta, Badin, and Thar by measuring physical, chemical, and biological (total coliform) quality parameters. All four water bodies (dug wells, shallow pumps canal water, and water supply schemes) exceeded WHO MPL for turbidity (24%, 28%, 96%, 69%), coliform (96%, 77%, 92%, 81%), and electrical conductivity (100%, 99%, 44%, 63%), respectively. However, the turbidity was lower in underground water, i.e., 24% and 28% in dug wells and shallow pumps as compared to open water, i.e., 96% and 69% in canal and water supply schemes, respectively. In dug wells and shallow pumps, limits for TDS, alkalinity, hardness, and sodium exceeded, respectively, by 63% and 33%; 59% and 70%, 40% and 27%, and 78% and 26%. Sodium was major problem in dug wells and shallow pumps of district Thar and considerable percent in shallow pumps of Badin. Iron was major problem in all water bodies of district Badin ranging from 50% to 69% and to some extent in open waters of Thatta. Other parameters as pH, copper, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus were within standard permissible limits of World Health Organization. Some common diseases found in the study area were gastroenteritis, diarrhea and vomiting, kidney, and skin problems.