Classification and quality of groundwater supplies in the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi – Part 1: physico-chemical quality of borehole water supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi

Anthony Grimason, Tracy Morse, Tara Beattie, Salule Joseph Masangwi, George Christopher Jabu, S.C. Taulo, Kingsley Lungu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents data on the physico-chemical quality of groundwater supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi. Eighty-four water samples were collected and analysed for a range of chemical constituents (Al, As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, V, Zn, K, Na,Cl-, F-, NO3-, SO42-), pH, temperature, electrical conductivity and turbidity, from 28 boreholes located in 25 remote, rural villages (n=3 per village) distributed along the east (n=15) and west (n=10) banks of the Shire River. Samples were collected every 2 months during the wet season, over a period of 5 months (December to April). Results were compared with national (Malawi Bureau of Standards Maximum Permissible Levels (MBS MPL)) and international (World Health Organization Guideline Values (WHO GV)) drinking-water standards. In general, most parameters complied with the Malawi Bureau of Standards Maximum Permissible Levels (MBS MPL) for borehole water supplies. The MBS MPL standards for iron, sodium and nitrate were slightly exceed at a few boreholes, technically rendering the water supply unwholesome but not necessarily unfit for human consumption. In contrast, significantly high nitrate (< 200 mg/ℓ) and fluoride (< 5 mg/ℓ) concentrations at levels which constitute a significant risk to the health of the consumer were detected in borehole samples in a number of villages and warrant further investigation. Water committee members complained of problems associated with taste (saltiness or bitterness) and appearance (discoloured water) primarily on the west bank, presumably as a result of the high sodium and chloride levels, and precipitation of soluble iron and manganese, respectively. This resulted in some water collectors reverting to the use of surface water sources to obtain drinking-water, a practice which should be dissuaded through the education of water and village health committees.
LanguageEnglish
Pages563-572
Number of pages10
JournalWater S.A.
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

Fingerprint

Malawi
Water Supply
Groundwater
Boreholes
Water supply
borehole
water supply
valley
village
groundwater
Water
Health
Potable water
Nitrates
Drinking Water
water
drinking water
Sodium
sodium
Iron

Keywords

  • wholesomeness
  • fitness for human consumption
  • borehole water quality
  • Malawi

Cite this

Grimason, Anthony ; Morse, Tracy ; Beattie, Tara ; Masangwi, Salule Joseph ; Jabu, George Christopher ; Taulo, S.C. ; Lungu, Kingsley. / Classification and quality of groundwater supplies in the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi – Part 1 : physico-chemical quality of borehole water supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi. In: Water S.A. 2013 ; Vol. 39, No. 4. pp. 563-572.
@article{9d90a81f1107440da25dbac301869133,
title = "Classification and quality of groundwater supplies in the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi – Part 1: physico-chemical quality of borehole water supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi",
abstract = "This paper presents data on the physico-chemical quality of groundwater supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi. Eighty-four water samples were collected and analysed for a range of chemical constituents (Al, As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, V, Zn, K, Na,Cl-, F-, NO3-, SO42-), pH, temperature, electrical conductivity and turbidity, from 28 boreholes located in 25 remote, rural villages (n=3 per village) distributed along the east (n=15) and west (n=10) banks of the Shire River. Samples were collected every 2 months during the wet season, over a period of 5 months (December to April). Results were compared with national (Malawi Bureau of Standards Maximum Permissible Levels (MBS MPL)) and international (World Health Organization Guideline Values (WHO GV)) drinking-water standards. In general, most parameters complied with the Malawi Bureau of Standards Maximum Permissible Levels (MBS MPL) for borehole water supplies. The MBS MPL standards for iron, sodium and nitrate were slightly exceed at a few boreholes, technically rendering the water supply unwholesome but not necessarily unfit for human consumption. In contrast, significantly high nitrate (< 200 mg/ℓ) and fluoride (< 5 mg/ℓ) concentrations at levels which constitute a significant risk to the health of the consumer were detected in borehole samples in a number of villages and warrant further investigation. Water committee members complained of problems associated with taste (saltiness or bitterness) and appearance (discoloured water) primarily on the west bank, presumably as a result of the high sodium and chloride levels, and precipitation of soluble iron and manganese, respectively. This resulted in some water collectors reverting to the use of surface water sources to obtain drinking-water, a practice which should be dissuaded through the education of water and village health committees.",
keywords = "wholesomeness, fitness for human consumption, borehole water quality, Malawi",
author = "Anthony Grimason and Tracy Morse and Tara Beattie and Masangwi, {Salule Joseph} and Jabu, {George Christopher} and S.C. Taulo and Kingsley Lungu",
year = "2013",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.4314/wsa.v39i4.16",
language = "English",
volume = "39",
pages = "563--572",
journal = "Water S.A.",
issn = "0378-4738",
publisher = "South African Water Research Commission",
number = "4",

}

Classification and quality of groundwater supplies in the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi – Part 1 : physico-chemical quality of borehole water supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi. / Grimason, Anthony; Morse, Tracy; Beattie, Tara; Masangwi, Salule Joseph; Jabu, George Christopher; Taulo, S.C.; Lungu, Kingsley.

In: Water S.A., Vol. 39, No. 4, 01.07.2013, p. 563-572.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Classification and quality of groundwater supplies in the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi – Part 1

T2 - Water S.A.

AU - Grimason, Anthony

AU - Morse, Tracy

AU - Beattie, Tara

AU - Masangwi, Salule Joseph

AU - Jabu, George Christopher

AU - Taulo, S.C.

AU - Lungu, Kingsley

PY - 2013/7/1

Y1 - 2013/7/1

N2 - This paper presents data on the physico-chemical quality of groundwater supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi. Eighty-four water samples were collected and analysed for a range of chemical constituents (Al, As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, V, Zn, K, Na,Cl-, F-, NO3-, SO42-), pH, temperature, electrical conductivity and turbidity, from 28 boreholes located in 25 remote, rural villages (n=3 per village) distributed along the east (n=15) and west (n=10) banks of the Shire River. Samples were collected every 2 months during the wet season, over a period of 5 months (December to April). Results were compared with national (Malawi Bureau of Standards Maximum Permissible Levels (MBS MPL)) and international (World Health Organization Guideline Values (WHO GV)) drinking-water standards. In general, most parameters complied with the Malawi Bureau of Standards Maximum Permissible Levels (MBS MPL) for borehole water supplies. The MBS MPL standards for iron, sodium and nitrate were slightly exceed at a few boreholes, technically rendering the water supply unwholesome but not necessarily unfit for human consumption. In contrast, significantly high nitrate (< 200 mg/ℓ) and fluoride (< 5 mg/ℓ) concentrations at levels which constitute a significant risk to the health of the consumer were detected in borehole samples in a number of villages and warrant further investigation. Water committee members complained of problems associated with taste (saltiness or bitterness) and appearance (discoloured water) primarily on the west bank, presumably as a result of the high sodium and chloride levels, and precipitation of soluble iron and manganese, respectively. This resulted in some water collectors reverting to the use of surface water sources to obtain drinking-water, a practice which should be dissuaded through the education of water and village health committees.

AB - This paper presents data on the physico-chemical quality of groundwater supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi. Eighty-four water samples were collected and analysed for a range of chemical constituents (Al, As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, V, Zn, K, Na,Cl-, F-, NO3-, SO42-), pH, temperature, electrical conductivity and turbidity, from 28 boreholes located in 25 remote, rural villages (n=3 per village) distributed along the east (n=15) and west (n=10) banks of the Shire River. Samples were collected every 2 months during the wet season, over a period of 5 months (December to April). Results were compared with national (Malawi Bureau of Standards Maximum Permissible Levels (MBS MPL)) and international (World Health Organization Guideline Values (WHO GV)) drinking-water standards. In general, most parameters complied with the Malawi Bureau of Standards Maximum Permissible Levels (MBS MPL) for borehole water supplies. The MBS MPL standards for iron, sodium and nitrate were slightly exceed at a few boreholes, technically rendering the water supply unwholesome but not necessarily unfit for human consumption. In contrast, significantly high nitrate (< 200 mg/ℓ) and fluoride (< 5 mg/ℓ) concentrations at levels which constitute a significant risk to the health of the consumer were detected in borehole samples in a number of villages and warrant further investigation. Water committee members complained of problems associated with taste (saltiness or bitterness) and appearance (discoloured water) primarily on the west bank, presumably as a result of the high sodium and chloride levels, and precipitation of soluble iron and manganese, respectively. This resulted in some water collectors reverting to the use of surface water sources to obtain drinking-water, a practice which should be dissuaded through the education of water and village health committees.

KW - wholesomeness

KW - fitness for human consumption

KW - borehole water quality

KW - Malawi

UR - http://www.wrc.org.za/Pages/DisplayItem.aspx?ItemID=10349&FromURL=%2fPages%2fKH_WaterSA.aspx%3fdt%3d5%26ms%3d%3b%26d%3dVolume%26e%3d39+No.+4%2c+July+2013%26start%3d1

U2 - 10.4314/wsa.v39i4.16

DO - 10.4314/wsa.v39i4.16

M3 - Article

VL - 39

SP - 563

EP - 572

JO - Water S.A.

JF - Water S.A.

SN - 0378-4738

IS - 4

ER -