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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 317; doi:10.3390/ijerph15020317

Chemical and Microbial Quality of Groundwater in Siloam Village, Implications to Human Health and Sources of Contamination

Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Venda, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Due to inaccessibility of potable water, rural communities drill boreholes within their homesteads despite vulnerability to groundwater contamination and associated health risks. This study assessed the quality of groundwater, identified potential sources of contamination and potential human health risks in Siloam Village, South Africa. Statistical difference between similar water quality parameters at different sites was determined at a significance level (α) of 0.05. Water quality parameters with serious potential health effects on human beings were correlated with selected water quality parameters to understand the nature of correlation and possible sources of contamination. Fluorides and nitrates had excessively high concentrations associated with tooth damage and pronounced skeletal fluorosis, and methaemoglobinaemia in infants and mucous membrane irritation in adults, respectively. There were statistically significant differences between means of most water quality parameters. Contrasting correlation of fluoride with calcium and pH indicated the need to further identify local sources and fluoride control mechanisms. Correlation of nitrate with chloride mostly indicated that faecal contamination is the potential source of high nitrates in groundwater. This requires further verification. Presence of total coliforms and E. coli in most boreholes indicated potential presence of faecal contamination. The need to educate borehole owners’ on possible strategies to minimise groundwater pollution was identified. View Full-Text
Keywords: ANOVA; faecal contamination; fluorides; groundwater quality; health risks; nitrates ANOVA; faecal contamination; fluorides; groundwater quality; health risks; nitrates

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Odiyo, J.O.; Makungo, R. Chemical and Microbial Quality of Groundwater in Siloam Village, Implications to Human Health and Sources of Contamination. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 317.

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