Groundwater pollution in the region of Relizane, Algeria with focus on the physical–chemical and bacteriological characteristics


Freshwater is the main natural resource used for various forms of activities in our daily routines such as drinking, as well as for various developmental uses. Increasing the degree of contamination leads to disruption of our natural world which harms both the physical environments and the living organisms existing in the ecosystem. In the present paper, we studied water source samples taken from six spring water wells (Bas Cheliff Oued-Rhiou, Jdiouia, H'madna) located in rural areas of the Wilaya of Relizane, Algeria in the duration between January and December 2018. In accordance with the Algerian Bureau of Standards (IANOR) and the adopted World Health Organization (WHO), optimal guidelines for drinking water are tested, matched and validated for the characteristics of physical criteria and the bacterial load received. In addition, supplies of water have been tested for selected physical and chemical properties including temperature, acidity (pH), electrical conductivity (EC), ammonium, potassium, nitrate, phosphate, sulfate, copper concentration, and bacteriological well analyses for fecal bacillus contamination. The obtained results show that the mean parameter EC (526.25 μc/cm and 1293.92 μc/cm) was not substantially different because of the high concentration of total solids dissolved in water due to fertilizers dissolved used in agriculture. Insignificant variations of pH were found(6 < pH < 8.5). However, the mean significant values are related to ammonium, potassium, nitrate, phosphate, and copper concentrations. The current study shows that most tropical supplies of water may not meet the standards of IANOR and WHO for drinking water and can therefore be a potential source of waterborne diseases. The pathogenic bacteria were not detected in the study wells.

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

Fig. 1

Source: google earth june2019)

Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11


  1. Abubakar, I., et al. (2018). The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health: The health of a world on the move. The Lancet, 392(10164), 2606–2654.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Boone, D. R., & Xun, L. (1987). Effects of pH, temperature, and nutrients on propionate degradation by a methanogenic enrichment culture. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 53(7), 1589–1592.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Butterworth, J., Sutton, S., & Mekonta, L. (2013). Self-supply as a complementary water services delivery model in Ethiopia. Water Alternatives, 6(3), 405.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Delpla, I., et al. (2009). Impacts of climate change on surface water quality in relation to drinking water production. Environment International, 35(8), 1225–1233.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Friedlander, L. R., et al. (2015). ‘The effect of pyrite on Escherichia coli in water: Proof-of-concept for the elimination of waterborne bacteria by reactive minerals. Journal of Water and Health, 13(1), 42–53.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Gadgil, A. (1998). Drinking water in developing countries. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 23(1), 253–286.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Hartani, T., Douaoui, A., & Kuper, M. (2009). Economies d’eau en systèmes irrigués au Maghreb. In Atelier Régional du Projet Sirma (p. 4). CIRAD, Mostaganem.

  8. Iroongor, B. T., & Long-Cang, S. (2007). Water supply crisis and mitigation options in Kisumu city, Kenya. Water Resources Development, 23(3), 485–500.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Khan, M. S., & Ahmad, S. R. (2012). Microbiological contamination in groundwater of Wah area. Pakistan Journal of Science, 64(1), 20–23.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Lukubye, B., & Andama, M. (2017). Bacterial analysis of selected drinking water sources in Mbarara Municipality, Uganda. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 9(8), 999–1013.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Malek, A., Kahoul, M., & Bouguerra, H. (2019). Groundwater’s physicochemical and bacteriological assessment: Case study of well water in the region of Sedrata, North-East of Algeria. Journal of Water and Land Development, 41(1), 91–100.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Martínez-Santos, P. (2017). Does 91% of the world’s population really have “sustainable access to safe drinking water”? International Journal of Water Resources Development, 33(4), 514–533.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. McCasland, M., Trautmann, N. M., & Wagenet, R. J. (1985). Nitrate: Health effects in drinking water. Cornell Cooperative Extension.

  14. Moore, R. B. (2004). Quality of water in the fractured-bedrock aquifer of New Hampshire. US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey.

  15. Narendra, P., & Sharma, H. (1993). African water resources. World Bank Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Nzunga, S. O., Kiplagat, K., & Paul, O. (2013). Techniques for potable water treatment using appropriate low cost natural materials in the tropics. The Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Food Sciences, 2(5), 2294.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Onda, K., LoBuglio, J., & Bartram, J. (2012). Global access to safe water: Accounting for water quality and the resulting impact on MDG progress . International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9(3), 880–894.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Parker, A. A., et al. (2006). Sustained high levels of stored drinking water treatment and retention of hand-washing knowledge in rural Kenyan households following a clinic-based intervention. Epidemiology & Infection, 134(5), 1029–1036.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Pedley, S., & Howard, G. (1997). The public health implication of groundwater microbiology. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology, 30(2), 179–188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Redouane, F., & Mourad, L. (2016). Pollution characterization of liquid waste of the factory complex Fertial (Arzew, Algeria). Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 66(3), 260–266.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Reid, D. C., et al. (2003). The quality of drinking water from private water supplies in Aberdeenshire, UK. Water Research, 37(2), 245–254.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Rodier, J., & Legube, B. (2009). L’analyse de l’eau. Dunod.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Shyamala, R., Shanthi, M., & Lalitha, P. (2008). Physicochemical analysis of borewell water samples of Telungupalayam area in Coimbatore District, Tamilnadu, India. Journal of Chemistry, 5(4), 924–929.

    Google Scholar 

  24. WHO, G. (2011). Guidelines for drinking-water quality (Vol. 216, pp. 303–304). Geneva: World Health Organization.

Download references


The authors wish to thank all who assisted in conducting this work.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. Fares.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.



See Table 4.

Table 4 The results of physico-chemical analysis of groundwater sampled from two site during the study period

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Fares, R., Naim, H. & Bouadi, A. Groundwater pollution in the region of Relizane, Algeria with focus on the physical–chemical and bacteriological characteristics. Int J Energ Water Res (2021).

Download citation


  • Water quality
  • Well
  • Physicochemical properties
  • Bacteriology
  • WHO