Skip to main content

Drinking Water Quality Assessment of Government, Non-Government and Self-Based Schemes in the Disaster Affected Areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Abstract

The present study aimed to investigate the physicochemical parameters, potentially toxic elements (PTEs) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) contamination with associated health risks in drinking water sources from the disaster affected areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan). Total water samples (n = 120) were collected from different water distribution schemes, such as non-government organizations (NGOs), government (GOV) and self-based scheme (SBS). The results showed that physicochemical parameters were found to be in decreasing order; NGOs > SBS > GOV in drinking water sources. PTEs concentrations were found to be in order; Zn > Pb > Cu > Cr > Co > Ni > Hg, Cu > Zn > Pb > Cr > Co > Ni > Hg, and Zn > Cu > Cr > Pb > Co > Ni > Hg for NGOs, GOV and SBS, respectively. Hg and Cr in SBS, while Co in GOV and SBS exceeded the WHO and Pak-EPA limits. Hazard quotient (HQ) showed no potential health risk, except for Co and Hg (> 1) in GOV and SBS. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed high anthropogenic activities and less geogenic sources. The questionnaire survey showed that local communities were highly vulnerable due to poor pipelines system and domestic sewage within the areas of GOV and SBS water sources. Numerous diseases, such as dysentery contributed for (14%, 12%, and 18%), diarrhea (25%, 21%, and 18%), and stomach problems (48%, 33%, and 27%) due to consumption of E. coli contaminated water in NGOs, GOV and SBS, respectively, in the study area.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  • Abdullah MZ, Saat A, Hamzah Z (2011) Optimization of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer to analyze heavy metals in moss samples. Am J Eng Appl Sci 4(3):355–362

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ahmed MF, Mokhtar MB (2020a) Assessing cadmium and chromium concentrations in drinking water to predict health risk in Malaysia. Int J Environ Res Public Health 17(8):2966

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ahmed M, Mokhtar M, Alam L et al (2019) Non-carcinogenic health risk assessment of aluminium ingestion via drinking water in Malaysia. Expos Health 11(2):167–180

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ahmed J, Wong LP, Chua YP et al (2020) Quantitative microbial risk assessment of drinking water quality to predict the risk of waterborne diseases in primary-school children. Int J Environ Res Public Health 17(8):2774

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Amin R, Zaidi MB, Bashir S et al (2019) Microbial contamination levels in the drinking water and associated health risks in Karachi Pakistan. J Water Sanit Hyg Dev 9(2):319–328

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Atashi H, Sahebi-Shahemabadi M, Mansoorkiai R et al (2009) Cobalt in Zahedan drinking water. J Appl Sci Res 5:2203–2207

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Azizullah A, Khattak MNK, Richter P et al (2011) Water pollution in Pakistan and its impact on public health—a review. Environ Int 37(2):479–497

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bhatti ZI, Ishtiaq M, Khan SA et al (2022) Contamination level, source identification and health risk assessment of potentially toxic elements in drinking water sources of mining and non-mining areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. J Water Health. https://doi.org/10.2166/wh.2022.087

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ciazela J, Siepak M, Wojtowicz P (2018) Tracking heavy metal contamination in a complex river-oxbow lake system: middle odra valley, Germany/Poland. Sci Total Environ 616:996–1006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Daud M, Nafees M, Ali S et al (2017) Drinking water quality status and contamination in Pakistan. Biomed Res Int 2017:1–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dipietro JA, Pogue KR, Lawrence RD et al (1993) Stratigraphy south of the main mantle thrust, lower Swat Pakistan. Geol Soc, Lond, Special Publ 74(1):207–220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Duan W, He B, Nover D et al (2016) Water quality assessment and pollution source identification of the eastern Poyang Lake Basin using multivariate statistical methods. Sustainability 8(2):133

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Duda-Chodak A, Blaszczyk U (2008) The impact of nickel on human health. J Elem 13(4):685–693

    Google Scholar 

  • Emmanuel E, Pierre MG, Perrodin Y (2009) Groundwater contamination by microbiological and chemical substances released from hospital wastewater: Health risk assessment for drinking water consumers. Environ Int 35(4):718–726

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ezemonye LI, Adebayo PO, Enuneku AA et al (2019) Potential health risk consequences of heavy metal concentrations in surface water, shrimp (Macrobrachium macrobrachion) and fish (Brycinus longipinnis) from Benin River, Nigeria. Toxicol Rep 6:1–9

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ghani J, Ullah Z, Nawab J et al (2022) Hydrogeochemical characterization, and suitability assessment of drinking groundwater: application of geostatistical approach and geographic information system. Front Environ Sci 10:874464

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gilani SR, Hussain M, Baig Y et al (2013) A study of drinking water of industrial area of Sheikhupura with special concern to arsenic, manganese and chromium. Pak J Eng Appl Sci. 13:118–126

    Google Scholar 

  • Grigg N, Ahmad SMUD, Podger G et al (2018) Water quality in the Ravi and Sutlej Rivers, Pakistan: a system view. South Asia Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio CSIRO, Australia

  • Gul N, Shah MT, Khan S et al (2015) Arsenic and heavy metals contamination, risk assessment and their source in drinking water of the Mardan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan J Water Health 13(4):1073–1084

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gupta SK, Gupta R, Gupta A et al (2000) Recurrent acute respiratory tract infections in areas with high nitrate concentrations in drinking water. Environ Health Perspect 108(4):363–366

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hossain M, Patra PK (2020) Water pollution index–a new integrated approach to rank water quality. Ecol Indic 117:106668

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Howarth RW (2008) Coastal nitrogen pollution: a review of sources and trends globally and regionally. Harmful Algae 8(1):14–20

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hunter PR, Zmirou-Navier D, Hartemann P (2009) Estimating the impact on health of poor reliability of drinking water interventions in developing countries. Sci Total Env 407(8):2621–2624

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Iranmanesh A, Wimmer IRAL, BT, (2014) Multivariate statistical evaluation of groundwater compliance data from the Illinois Basin–Decatur Project. Energy Procedia 63:3182–3194

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jafari A, Aslani M, Bouzari S (2012) Escherichia coli: a brief review of diarrheagenic pathotypes and their role in diarrheal diseases in Iran. Iran J Microbiol 4(3):102

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jehan S, Khan S, Khattak SA et al (2019) Hydrochemical properties of drinking water and their sources apportionment of pollution in Bajaur agency, Pakistan. Measurement 139:249–257

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ji Y, Wu J, Wang Y et al (2020) Seasonal variation of drinking water quality and human health risk assessment in Hancheng City of Guanzhong Plain. China Expos Health 12(3):469–485

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Khan F, Rahman A, Jan A et al (2004) Toxic and trace metals (Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, Mn, Ni, Co and Cr) in dust, dustfall/soil. J Chem Soc Pak (pakistan) 26:453–456

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Khan S, Uddin Z, Ihsanullah ZA (2011) Levels of selected heavy metals in drinking water of Peshawar City. Int J Sci Nat 2(3):648–652

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Khan K, Lu Y, Khan H et al (2013a) Heavy metals in agricultural soils and crops and their health risks in Swat District, northern Pakistan. Food Chem Toxicol 58:449–458

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Khan K, Lu Y, Khan H et al (2013b) Health risks associated with heavy metals in the drinking water of Swat, northern Pakistan. J Environ Sci 25(10):2003–2013

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Khan S, Shahnaz M, Jehan N et al (2013c) Drinking water quality and human health risk in Charsadda district, Pakistan. J Clean Prod 60:93–101

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Khan K, Lu Y, Saeed MA et al (2018) Prevalent fecal contamination in drinking water resources and potential health risks in Swat Pakistan. J Environ Sci 72:1–12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Khan MH, Nafees M, Muhammad N et al (2021) Assessment of drinking water sources for water quality, human health risks, and pollution sources: a case study of the District Bajaur. Pakistan Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 80(1):41–54

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kostyla C, Bain R, Cronk R et al (2015) Seasonal variation of fecal contamination in drinking water sources in developing countries: a systematic review. Sci Total Environ 514:333–343

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Laluraj C, Gopinath G, Dinesh Kumar P et al (2006) Seasonal variations in groundwater chemistry of a phreatic coastal and crystalline terrain of central Kerala. India Environ Forensics 7(4):335–344

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Li W, Wu J, Zhou C et al (2021) Groundwater pollution source identification and apportionment using PMF and PCA−APCS−MLR receptor models in Tongchuan City. China Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 81(3):397–413

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Liu M, Xu Y, Nawab J et al (2020) Contamination features, geo-accumulation, enrichments and human health risks of toxic heavy metal (loids) from fish consumption collected along Swat river Pakistan. Environ Technol Innov 17:100554

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Liu L, Wu J, He S et al (2022a) Occurrence and distribution of groundwater fluoride and manganese in the Weining Plain (China) and their probabilistic health risk quantification. Expos Health 14(2):263–279

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Majid M (1985) Mineralogy of the blueschist facies metagraywacke from the Shergarh Sar area, Allai Kohistan, N. Pakistan. J Himal Earth Sci 18:41–52

    Google Scholar 

  • Mara D, Hamilton AJ, Sleigh A et al (2009) Tools for risk analysis: updating the 2006 WHO guidelines. In: Wastewater irrigation and health. pp 115–126

  • Memon M, Soomro MS, Akhtar MS et al (2011) Drinking water quality assessment in Southern Sindh (Pakistan). Environ Monit Assess 177(1):39–50

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Muhammad S, Ahmad K (2020) Heavy metal contamination in water and fish of the Hunza River and its tributaries in Gilgit–Baltistan: evaluation of potential risks and provenance. Environ Technol Innov 20:101159

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Muhammad I, Hasan Z, Ullah S et al (2014) A preliminary survey of fish fauna of river Panjkora at District Upper Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan. J Biodivers Environ Sci 5(1):362–368

    Google Scholar 

  • Muhammad N, Nafees M, Hussain R et al (2018) Pollution and energy reduction strategy in soft drink industries. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25(28):28153–28159

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nawab J, Ali S, Rehman U et al (2015) Health risk associated with heavy metals via surface and ground water consumption in Shangla district of northern Pakistan. J Himal Earth Sci 48:62–73

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nawab J, Khan S, Ali S et al (2016) Health risk assessment of heavy metals and bacterial contamination in drinking water sources: a case study of Malakand Agency Pakistan. Environ Monit Assess 188(5):1–12

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nawab J, Khan S, Xiaoping W et al (2018) Spatial distribution of toxic metals in drinking water sources and their associated health risk in district buner, Northern Pakistan. Hum Ecol Risk Assess: an Int J 24(3):615–626

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nawab J, Ghani J, Rehman SAU et al (2022) Biomonitoring of mercury in water, sediments, and fish (brown and rainbow trout) from remote alpine lakes located in the Himalayas Pakistan. Environ Sci Pollut Res. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-21340-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nawaz S, Ali Y (2018) Factors affecting the performance of water treatment plants in Pakistan. Water Conserv Sci Eng 3(3):191–203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Owens CE, Angles ML, Cox PT et al (2020) Implementation of quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) for public drinking water supplies: systematic review. Water Res 174:115614

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pak-EPA (2008) National Standards for Drinking Water Quality. Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, (Ministry of Environment) Government of Pakistan. http://www.environment.gov.pk/act-rules/DWQStd-

  • Pandey J, Shubhashish K, Pandey R (2010) Heavy metal contamination of Ganga river at Varanasi in relation to atmospheric deposition. Trop Ecol 51(2):365–373

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Paule-Mercado M, Ventura J, Memon S et al (2016) Monitoring and predicting the fecal indicator bacteria concentrations from agricultural, mixed land use and urban stormwater runoff. Sci Total Environ 550:1171–1181

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pruss-Ustun A, Organization WH (2008) Safer water, better health: costs, benefits and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health. World Health Organization, Geneva

    Google Scholar 

  • Ra K, Kim E-S, Kim K-T et al (2013) Assessment of heavy metal contamination and its ecological risk in the surface sediments along the coast of Korea. J Coast Res 65(10065):105–110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Radfard M, Yunesian M, Nabizadeh R et al (2018) Drinking water quality and arsenic health risk assessment in Sistan and Baluchestan, Southeastern Province Iran. Hum Ecol Risk Assess: Int J 25(4):949–965

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rafiq M, Shah MT, Rehman M et al (1984) Petrochemistry of the rocks from Babaji area, a part of the Ambela granitic complex. Buner, Northern Pakistan 17:31–42

    Google Scholar 

  • Rajkovic MB, Lacnjevac CM, Ralevic NR et al (2008) Identification of metals (heavy and radioactive) in drinking water by an indirect analysis method based on scale tests. Sensors 8(4):2188–2207

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ricolfi L, Barbieri M, Muteto PV et al (2020) Potential toxic elements in groundwater and their health risk assessment in drinking water of Limpopo National Park, Gaza Province Southern Mozambique. Environ Geochem Health 42(9):2733–2745

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sabir MA, Muhammad S, Umar M et al (2017) Water quality assessment for drinking and irrigation purposes in upper Indus basin, northern Pakistan. Fresenius Environ Bull 26(6):4180–4186

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sawyer CN, McCarty PL, Parkin GF (1994) Chemistry for environmental engineering. McGraw-Hill, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Shah MT, Begum S, Khan S (2010) Pedo and biogeochemical studies of mafic and ultramfic rocks in the Mingora and Kabal areas, Swat Pakistan. Environ Earth Sci 60(5):1091–1102

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Shah AH, Khan SM, Shah AH et al (2015) Cultural uses of plants among Basikhel tribe of district Tor Ghar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Pak J Bot 47:23–41

    Google Scholar 

  • Siddiquee S, Rovina K, Azad SA et al (2015) Heavy metal contaminants removal from wastewater using the potential filamentous fungi biomass: a review. J Microb Biochem Technol 7(6):384–393

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • USEPA (2011) Exposure factors handbook. United States Environmental Protection Agency, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang D, Wu J, Wang Y et al (2020) Finding high-quality groundwater resources to reduce the hydatidosis incidence in the Shiqu County of Sichuan Province, China: analysis, assessment, and management. Expos Health 12(2):307–322

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wei M, Wu J, Li W et al (2022) Groundwater geochemistry and its impacts on groundwater arsenic enrichment, variation, and health risks in Yongning County, Yinchuan Plain of northwest China. Expos Health 14(2):219–238

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • WHO (2008) Global Health Observatory Data Repository. World Health Organization, Geneva

    Google Scholar 

  • WHO (2011) Guidelines for drinking-water quality. WHO Chronicle 38:104–108

    Google Scholar 

  • WHO (2014) Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. World Health Organization, Geneva

    Google Scholar 

  • Wieczorek-Dąbrowska M, Tomza-Marciniak A, Pilarczyk B et al (2013) Roe and red deer as bioindicators of heavy metals contamination in north-western Poland. Chem Ecol 29(2):100–110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wu J, Li P, Qian H et al (2014) Using correlation and multivariate statistical analysis to identify hydrogeochemical processes affecting the major ion chemistry of waters: a case study in Laoheba phosphorite mine in Sichuan. China Arab J Geosci 7(10):3973–3982

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wu J, Li P, Wang D et al (2020) Statistical and multivariate statistical techniques to trace the sources and affecting factors of groundwater pollution in a rapidly growing city on the Chinese Loess Plateau. Hum Ecol Risk Assess: Int J 26(6):1603–1621

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Xiao G, Wang Z, Qiu Z et al (2013) Occurrence and infection risk of waterborne pathogens in Wanzhou watershed of the three Gorges reservoir. China J Environ Sci 25(9):1913–1924

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan under National Research Program for Universities (NRPU) project no. 20-14899/NRPU/R&D/HEC/2021 and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) project no. PSF/NSLP/KP AWKUM (827) are highly acknowledged for financial support.

Funding

Pakistan Science Foundation, PSF/NSLP/KP AWKUM (827), Javed Nawab

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Conceptualization, Methodology, and Writing—original draft: [JN], Formal analysis and investigation: [JN, and AR], Software and validation: [JG, ZH and HK], Writing—reviewing and editing: [SK, HK, and MW], Funding acquisition: [JN].

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Javed Nawab or Sardar Khan.

Ethics declarations

Competing interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing interest.

Ethics Approval

Not applicable.

Consent to Participate

Not applicable.

Consent for Publication

Not applicable.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary Information

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file1 (DOCX 458 KB)

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Nawab, J., Rahman, A., Khan, S. et al. Drinking Water Quality Assessment of Government, Non-Government and Self-Based Schemes in the Disaster Affected Areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Expo Health 15, 567–583 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12403-022-00511-2

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12403-022-00511-2

Keywords